The much-needed funding was to be used to improve the energy performance of homes across England through low carbon heat and energy efficiency measures; however, despite high demand from households, less than 5% of the vouchers have been used due to issues with the scheme’s administration.
The Green Homes Grant was launched to kickstart a green recovery in September last year and was thought to create thousands of green jobs. The Heat Pump Association has been working to train installers so that they are able to meet the high demand of the scheme, with many installers already at full capacity.
Now the HPA says it is concerned that the decision to roll back funding will discourage heating installers from training or upskilling so they can install technologies like heat pumps, at a time when the industry needs to prepare for net zero. It believes the Government’s target of 600,000 heat pumps per year could fail without a significant boost in installer numbers over the next decade.
The HPA said the decision not to roll over the funding would also send the wrong signal to households who have demonstrated their interest in improvements by applying for Green Homes Grant vouchers. It said policy stability is vital for providing both industry and households with the confidence they need to ‘buy into’ the low carbon transition.
Phil Hurley, chair of the HPA, said: “The HPA is disappointed to see that unspent funding for the Green Homes Grant looks unlikely to be rolled over despite significant delays caused by the scheme’s administration rather than demand. This rollover would have demonstrated the Government’s commitment to improving UK homes through energy efficiency and low carbon heat and given the industry the time and confidence it needs to deliver the green recovery.”