The government is offering funding of up to £10,000 to support the installation of energy efficiency measures in homes across England.
The new £2 billion Green Homes Grant will see the government fund up to two-thirds of the cost of the improvements of more than 600,000 homes, which will include measures such as insulation, heat pumps, draft proofing as well as heat pumps and solar thermal.
Under the initiative, builders, plumbers and other tradespeople must register for TrustMark or MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) accreditation to provide their services for the measures, which are expected to help families save up to £600 a year on their energy bills.
TrustMark is the government-endorsed quality scheme covering work a consumer chooses to have carried out in their homes. Householders will be able to choose from tradespeople in their areas to carry out the work but only approved and accredited installers will be able to be commissioned, ensuring high standards and consumer protection.
The government expects the scheme to create more than 100,000 jobs in green construction.
Homeowners in England can claim up to £5,000 while those on low income can receive vouchers covering 100% of the cost of their improvements, up to a maximum of £10,000.
For example, if a homeowner of a semi-detached or end-terrace installed cavity wall and floor insulation, costing around £4,000, the homeowner would pay only £1,320 – with the government paying £2,680.
This could help the homeowner save more than £200 annually on their bills and reduce their carbon footprint by 700kg a year.
Around £500 million will be earmarked specifically to support low income and fuel poor households, including those living in rented accommodation.
Local authorities can bid for funding under this scheme to improve the energy efficiency of low income households in their areas.
Business and Energy Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Green home improvements will save people money on their energy bills, help to cut carbon emissions, and create new work for many thousands of builders, plumbers and other tradespeople.
“Our TrustMark scheme will guarantee that building work is completed to a high standard by accredited tradespeople, ensuring consumers are fully protected.”
The government’s wider green package, announced by the Chancellor earlier this month, also includes an additional £1 billion programme to make public buildings, including schools and hospitals across the UK more energy efficient. An additional £50 million will pilot innovative approaches to retrofitting social housing at scale.