Features - Energy

Government voucher scheme is an opportunity for all businesses to grow, don’t get left behind

“The Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme is an opportunity for all businesses to expand and grow, don’t get left behind,” – Simon Ayers, CEO of TrustMark

As the evenings get darker and the temperature begins to drop, more and more people will be switching on their radiators and turning their heating up. With around 24 million homes across the country needing energy efficiency improvements, the simple action of turning up the thermostat a few notches is a detriment to our environment, after all homes – both new and existing – account for 18% of CO2 emissions and 15% of total greenhouse gas emissions.

Our commitment to reaching net zero carbon emission by 2050 is an ambitious but important one, and to reach that goal we need to act now. The current rate of energy improvements to our homes needs to drastically improve to allow us to hit this target.

The Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme (GHGVS) will help us on the journey to net-zero carbon by allowing more people to make energy efficiency improvements to their homes. Not only will it contribute to reducing our carbon emissions, the construction and energy sectors are set to benefit too as it is the perfect opportunity for businesses to develop their services and tradespeople to gain more customers, develop and grow.

By allowing householders to obtain funding for up to two-thirds (up to £5000) of the cost of the energy efficiency measures identified, lower income households could be entitled to have as much as £10,000 of the costs fully covered, the demand for the scheme is expected to increase quickly over the next few months. It is possible that over to 600,000 homes could benefit from the scheme, and the construction and energy sectors need to be ready to meet this demand.

This is an opportunity for businesses to expand, take an increase share of the marketplace and be a part of the journey to start the transition to wider retrofit markets. It is a chance to refresh our delivery practices, create jobs, develop new skills and retrain our workforce which helps to increase the number of skilled traders and technicians to deliver both existing and innovative technologies and products as they come to the market. The GHGVS will help businesses thrive during our economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

TrustMark is proud to be working with the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and industry sectors to support the delivery of the GHGVS. To ensure the work carried out under the scheme is of high quality that consumers can trust, all businesses need to be certified to install energy efficiency or low carbon heat measures to the relevant standards and be registered with TrustMark. Householders will be able to start applying for the vouchers after the scheme commences at the end of September. The time for innovation and development is with us, and businesses should take this opportunity and register with TrustMark to be part of this scheme.

The GHGVS is an important step in the economic recovery of the UK’s economy. It will boost areas of job creation, support existing jobs in the sector and see investment from government supported by private investment. We must not forget that an output of the scheme will be the delivery of lower carbon property with reduced energy costs for the occupiers.

It is good news therefore, that the work funded through the GHGVS, is a vital component of the Whole House Retrofit approach. We firmly believe it is important that a property is looked at holistically and look at the ‘fabric first’ so we can address the overall efficiency of the building. Through a whole house approach, a property owner can determine what measures are needed for optimising home energy efficiency and ensuring the best value for money.

By carrying out work under the GHGVS, businesses will be able to play their part in making our housing stock fit for the future. Collectively, we will be able to deliver low carbon homes, providing healthier and more comfortable living conditions, whilst helping reach the goal of net-zero carbon by 2050.

We would encourage businesses to register with TrustMark so they can deliver the GHGVS.

In order to install energy efficiency measures under the GHGVS, a business must also be Publicly Available Specification (PAS) standards 2030: 2017 or 2030: 2019 certified, by a certification body that has been accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). More information is available on the UKAS website. To install low carbon heating measures, such as heat pumps, you must be certified with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).

TrustMark is working closely with BEIS and other government departments to ensure the GHGVS delivers it goal to build back greener, support jobs, reduce energy bills and cut carbon emissions. More information on the GHGVS can be found on GOV.UK.

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