Green Homes Grant – Doors Still Open

Jon Vanstone, Chairman of Certass Trade Association.

Jon Vanstone, Chairman of Certass Trade Association has written to the industry's trade media with a view the Green Homes Grant offers an opportunity for energy efficient entrance doors - but slim pickings at best.

Vanstone writes: The latest news in the Green Homes Grant (GHG) is that there is little change for replacement windows, as we predicted openly in our members forum on social media. We were 99 per cent sure this would be the outcome, as the indications in conversations we had been having with Government was looking like grant money would only be available for single glazed windows.

There is still an opportunity with energy efficient entrance doors but this too could be slim pickings as it is a secondary measure and proof of insulation is likely to be required before this will be eligible.

(Editor's note - only pre-2002 doors will be eligible for replacement.)


Certass TA still pushing

However, there is no reason to be negative about this. We now have our knees under the table at these meetings and it’s likely that the next tranches of grant money will be more favourable to the glazing sector if we continue to position ourselves correctly.

For many years, the industry has not been represented in cross-trade talks. That is because previous contact with government had removed glazing from involvement with bodies such as the Construction Leadership Council on the basis that glazing was not part of construction. This may have saved some large glazing businesses from paying into the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) levy but it has left us somewhat isolated and away from many funded skills initiatives.

Of course, this meant every battle had to be fought against the other trades, rather than as a construction collective. Since I have been at Certass Trade Association, I have spent a lot of my energy building the relationships with other heads of trade organisations to get us seen as part of the construction group by government. These were long term measures, and we can see that they are starting to take effect. We were included in discussions around Covid-19 and GHG. This looks like it will bring us closer into future conversations and consultations.


Low percentage gain leaves room for manoeuvre

Less than 3 per cent of homes in England gain from the GHG, so that leaves 97 per cent of homes available for the next initiative. Discussions are already happening - and we are part of those. Nothing concrete has been decided but the fact we are part of the discussion is a big step forward.


Best info available

At Certass TA, we knew through early stages of coronavirus that any knee jerk reactions would cause members more hardship and extra cost, at a time they when they could ill afford it. Government changes were coming thick and fast, so when we interpreted its guidance, we aimed to give it a measured and thoughtful response. Where we needed further clarification, we sought it out directly with ministers and civil servants to ensure the information given to members was the best it could be. It worked, in hindsight our predictions have been shown to be correct and our members given the right advice at the right time. 


Better rewards in the future

Certass TA is backing the industry, we see that being part of conversations will mean bigger benefits to everyone in glazing. While GHG has been an unnecessary distraction for many companies, collectively we are likely to reap bigger and better rewards in the future.

Picture: Jon Vanstone, Chairman of Certass Trade Association.

Article written by Cathryn Ellis
10th August 2020


Related Articles