UK reveals more details of its billion-dollar plan for greener homes

Real Estate

Houses on Kelly Street in Kentish Town, London.

Yui Mok | PA Images | Getty Images

The U.K. government has released details of how tradespeople can get involved in its £2 billion ($2.60 billion) “green homes grant” initiative.

Announced in July, the scheme will enable landlords and homeowners in England to apply for vouchers to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

In a speech at the time, the U.K.’s Finance Minister, Rishi Sunak, said the grants would cover at least two thirds of the cost of certain home improvements, up to £5,000 per household. Low-income households would see the vouchers cover the full cost of works up to £10,000, he added.

People will be able to use the vouchers – available from the end of September – for works such as the installation of cavity-wall insulation and low-carbon heating systems. The vouchers can also be used for modifications such as the replacement of single-glazed windows with double- or triple-glazed ones.

Fleshing out how the scheme will work in practice, the government said Tuesday that tradespeople such as plumbers and builders wanting to take part had to register for TrustMark or Microgeneration Certification Scheme accreditation.

In a statement issued alongside the government’s announcement, Mike Thornton, chief executive of the Energy Saving Trust, described the green homes grant as a “significant investment by the government in energy efficiency which will provide long term benefits to householders and the environment by cutting fuel bills and reducing carbon emissions.”

“It will particularly help low-income households access much-needed funds to make their homes warmer,” Thornton added.

Tuesday also saw the U.K. government give the go-ahead for building and infrastructure projects worth around £1.3 billion.

Breaking the investment down, over 300 “shovel-ready” projects based in England are now being notified that they will receive money from a £900 million fund that was announced in June.

According to authorities, the projects are wide ranging and look set to create, among other things, as many 85,000 jobs, more than 1,500,000 square meters of commercial floor space and 45,000 homes. They should help to save 65 million kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions.

The government also green-lit a £360 million investment that will see 26,000 homes built on so-called brownfield land, which refers to land that has been “previously developed.” In addition, £8 million in funding to help accelerate the development of these brownfield projects has also been announced.

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