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Green Homes Grant

The Green Homes Grant is a £2 billion government-funded voucher scheme designed to help with the installation of energy efficiency measures on homes in England to reduce energy bills and carbon emissions.

The voucher of up to £5,000 will cover at least two thirds of the cost of some energy-saving home improvements. Some homeowners on qualifying benefits can get a voucher for up to £10,000 towards the cost of these home improvements.

Low carbon heating including Air Source Heat Pumps, Ground/Water Source Heat Pumps, Solar Thermal and Biomass Boilers are included in the Green Homes Grant scheme as primary measures. To be eligible for a voucher, the low carbon heating must be installed by an MCS certified Contractor who is also TrustMark approved.

The scheme launched on 30 September 2020 and closes at the end of March 2021.

Eligible Low Carbon Heating Technologies

The low carbon heating measures provide renewable ways of heating your home. Those that qualify under the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme includes:

Solar Thermal

Solar Thermal

Solar Thermal also known as solar heating technologies, turn sunlight into heat.

Solar Thermal panels or solar collectors are devices that are mounted on to your roof to absorb the sun’s heat and use it to heat up water, stored in a cylinder. The liquid flowing through the panels is a mix of water and antifreeze. This technology is great for space and water heating. They are a popular solution for swimming pool heating.

The benefits of installing Solar Thermal:

Maintaining a Solar Thermal system

Maintenance costs for solar water heating systems are generally very low.

Most solar water heating systems come with a five-year or ten-year warranty and require little maintenance.

I’m interested in installing a Solar Thermal system, what should I do next?

Search for an MCS certified Installer using our directory of approved installers.

MCS is a mark of quality. Using an MCS certified installer ensures that equipment meets good standards of performance and that installers are technically safe and competent.

Make a decision based on three quotes. Trust your instincts and go with a good value quote with an installer you feel you can trust.

As with solar photovoltaic cells, solar heating technologies require sunlight, so ideally you would install the technology on a south-facing roof that receives sunlight for most of the day. You don’t need planning permission to install a solar thermal system unless you live in a listed building. If you live in a listed building please note the restrictions.

You may need a new hot water tank to store the hot water produced by your system. If you have an older hot water tank linked to an existing boiler then it is likely that you will need a new tank.

Useful links

Here are some great information sources and resources if you would like to find out more about Solar Thermal:

Ground/Water Source Heat Pump

Ground/Water Source Heat Pump

A Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) uses pipes that are buried in the garden to extract heat from the ground. This heat can then be used to heat radiators, underfloor or warm air heating systems and hot water in your home.

A GSHP circulates a mixture of water and antifreeze around a loop of pipe, called a ground loop. Heat from the ground is absorbed into the fluid and then passes through a heat exchanger into the heat pump.

The ground stays at a fairly constant temperature under the surface, so the heat pump can be used throughout the year.

The length of the ground loop depends on the size of your home and the amount of heat you need. Longer loops can draw more heat from the ground, but need more space to be buried in. If space is limited, a vertical borehole can be drilled instead.

Water Source Heat Pumps (WSHP) can be used to provide heating in homes near to rivers, streams and lakes. They extract the heat from open water such as rivers, lakes and canals and can also extract water from sea water.

The Benefits of installing Ground/Water Source Heat Pumps:

Maintaining Ground/Water Source Heat Pumps

GSHP/WSHP require regular scheduled maintenance but you can expect them to operate for 20 years.

There is no need for safety checks for ground source heat pumps and routine maintenance requirements are very low. These may include pre-heating season checks of the water pump, external pipes and fittings and electronics.

I’m interested in installing Ground/Water Source Heat Pumps, what should I do next?

Search for an MCS certified Installer using our directory of approved installers.

MCS is a mark of quality. Using an MCS certified installer ensures that equipment meets good standards of performance and that installers are technically safe and competent.

Make a decision based on three quotes. Trust your instincts and go with a good value quote with an installer you feel you can trust.

Good design and an experienced MCS certified installer are the most important factors when considering the installation of the Ground/Water Source Heat Pump. You should also consider the state of the insulation in your home. This needs to be to a good standard so that heat loss through the walls, roof and floor is minimised and therefore the fact your home is heated to a lower temperature will not be an issue.

Useful links

Here are some great information sources and resources if you would like to find out more about Ground/Water Source Heat Pumps:

Air Source Heat Pump

Air Source Heat Pump

An Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) is a system which absorbs heat from the outside air. This heat can then be used to heat radiators, underfloor heating systems, or warm air convectors and provide domestic hot water in your home.

ASHPs can get heat from the air even when the temperature is as low as -25°C.

In the outdoor unit there is an evaporator (grill with fins), a fan draws air across it, latent heat in the air crossing the evaporator is used to increase the temperature of the refrigerant within the evaporator, the refrigerant is now a gas. Once it has absorbed the latent heat this gas is then passed through a compressor which in turn compresses (squeezes) the gas, this compression cycle of the refrigerant increases the temperature to between 25°C – 75°C. Now the higher temperature gas is passed through a plate heat exchanger this is where the high temperature from the gas is absorbed by the primary water within the heat pump system, this primary water, just like your boiler, is used to heat the house or produce domestic hot water.

There are two main types of air source heat pump systems:

  • An air to water system distributes heat via your wet central heating system. Heat pumps work much more efficiently at a lower temperature than a standard boiler system would. This makes them more suitable for underfloor heating systems or larger radiators, which give out heat at lower temperatures over longer periods of time.
  • An air-to-air system produces warm air which is circulated by fans to heat your home. (Please note, an air-to-air heat pump isn’t eligible for RHI)

An ASHP is installed outside your home, the unit can be fitted to a wall or placed on the ground. It will need plenty of space around it to get a good flow of air.

The benefits of installing an Air Source Heat Pump:

  • Reduce your heating bills, although as an Air Source Heat Pump uses electricity, you will stay pay for electricity
  • Cut your carbon footprint.
  • You could earn income through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
  • Can heat your home as well as your water.

Maintaining an Air Source Heat Pump

An ASHP requires regular scheduled maintenance but you can expect them to operate for 20 years. You are likely to be advised to carry out a yearly check that the air inlet grill and evaporator are free of leaves or other debris.

Any plants that have started to grow near the ASHP will also need to be removed.

To prevent freezing in a power cut Monobloc heat pumps require anti-freeze to be used.

I’m interested in installing an Air Source Heat Pump, what should I do next?

Search for an MCS certified Installer using our directory of approved installers.

MCS is a mark of quality. Using an MCS certified installer ensures that equipment meets good standards of performance and that installers are technically safe and competent.

Make a decision based on three quotes. Trust your instincts and go with a good value quote with an installer you feel you can trust.

Make sure you receive a design for your new system including the location of your new Air Source Heat Pump. You’ll need enough space in your garden for the external condenser unit (comparable in size to an air-conditioning unit). When considering the location of your new Air Source Heat Pump note that the condenser units will generate noise and also blow out colder air to the immediate environment.

Useful Links

Biomass

Biomass

Biomass is also known as wood-fuelled heating systems. They burn wood pellets, chips or logs to provide warmth in a single room or to power central heating and hot water boilers.

A stove burns logs or pellets to heat a single room – and may be fitted with a back boiler to provide water heating as well. A boiler burns logs, pellets or chips, and is connected to a central heating and hot water system.

The benefits of installing Biomass:

  • Reduce your electricity bills.
  • An affordable heating source.
  • Cut your carbon footprint.
  • You could earn income through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

Maintaining a Biomass system

Biomass boilers and stoves should be kept clean and swept regularly to remove ash.

Some appliances, particularly boilers, have self-cleaning systems which will collect ash from the combustion grate and the heat exchanger tubes. If there is no automatic ash cleaning mechanism in place the boiler will need to be shut down periodically so that this can be done by hand.

If you have a wood burning stove or boiler, the chimney and flue pipe must be swept regularly to remove all soot deposits and prevent blockage.

A Biomass system will also require an annual maintenance check.

I’m interested in installing Biomass, what should I do next?

Search for an MCS certified Installer using our directory of approved installers.

MCS is a mark of quality. Using an MCS certified installer ensures that equipment meets good standards of performance and that installers are technically safe and competent.

Make a decision based on three quotes. Trust your instincts and go with a good value quote with an installer you feel you can trust.

You should consider the space you have available for both the boiler plant and fuel storage. The larger the storage facility, the less fuel deliveries you will need.

The design of any heating system is critical to its success and with Biomass it is no different. You should understand how your new Biomass will work for your home before signing a contractor for its installation.

Useful links

 

Finding an MCS certified Contractor

If you want to install a low carbon heating measure under the Green Homes Grant, you need to make sure that you use an MCS certified Contractor. You can use our Installer search or find a list on the Simple Energy Advice website.

For advice on how to receive and redeem your Green Homes Grant voucher for your MCS certified Installation, download our handy step by step Consumer guide or watch our quick and easy video below.

MCS and the Green Homes Grant

MCS is a mark of quality for renewable energy installations. An MCS certified Contractor works to our industry standards, highlighting quality and competency.

For a low carbon heating installation to be eligible for a voucher under the Green Homes Grant, it must be completed by an MCS certified Contractor, using MCS certified products who is also TrustMark approved.

Guidance for Contractors

For advice on how to receive payment from Green Homes Grant vouchers, download our handy step by step MCS Contractor guide or watch our quick and easy video below.

Latest Green Homes grant News

Blog: Sub-contracting under the Green Homes Grant scheme

5th October 2020

Consumers Cautioned as Green Homes Grant Launches

30th September 2020

Renewables installers call for extension to the Green Homes Grant

25th September 2020

Developments around the Green Homes Grant

10th September 2020

Green Homes Grant Webinar for Contractors

12th August 2020

Green Homes Grant update: It CAN be used with DRHI

7th August 2020

MCS quality assurance at heart of new £2 billion green homes grants

4th August 2020

Becoming MCS certified to offer the Green Homes Grant

Become certified

Trustmark

Trustmark logo

For any primary or secondary measures under the Green Homes Grant you must use a TrustMark approved tradesperson in order for your voucher to be eligible.

www.trustmark.org.uk

Simple Energy Advice

Simple Energy Advice

The government are signposting consumers to the Simple Energy Advice website which has a Green Homes Grant eligibility calculator and gives an idea of what improvements qualify for a voucher.

www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk