Optimism Dashed By Green Homes Bombshell

A shattered window pane

Homeowners will have to spend their Green Grant on Primary Measures first to quality for Secondary Measures such as double-glazing - and then double-glazing can only be used to replace single-glazing.

As any installer or fabricator will know, double-glazing has evolved at such a rate and now comes with energy ratings, that to eliminate old double glazing from the list of what can be upgraded is completely at odds with the Green Homes Grant Scheme. Although the Scheme is envisioned as providing a boost to home improvement sector, it's main aim is to upgrade the energy efficiency of up to 600,000 homes in order for the UK to meet its net zero carbon commitment to the Paris Agreement.


From the horse's mouth

Text taken directly from Government documents says:

They [homeowners] will be able to use the vouchers to install one or more of the following 'Primary Measures':

  • Solid wall, under-floor, cavity wall or roof insulation.

  • Air source or ground source heat pump.

  • Solar thermal.

Households will need to install at least one of the primary measures to qualify for funding. So long as there is at least one primary measure in the package of works, households will also be able to install secondary measures. Secondary measures can only be subsidised up to the amount of subsidy provided for primary measures. (e.g. if a household receives £1,000 for primary measures, they can only receive a maximum of £1,000 towards secondary measures). Secondary measures include:

  • Double or triple glazing/secondary glazing, when replacing single glazing.

  • Draught proofing.

  • Upgrading to energy-efficient doors.

  • Hot water tank/appliance tank thermostats/heating controls.

The grant scheme is available until the end of March 2021.


Damage already done

As soon as the latest details of the Scheme were issued (4 August), The Installer wrote to all stake holders such as FENSA and Certass to ask for statements - which were expected to be vitriolic in the least - they will be published as they arrive.

The first to respond was the GGF which noted that the original announcement of the Green Home Grant Scheme was met positively as double-glazing would be included. However, there was also a strong note of negativity as home improvement companies found consumers cancelling or postponing orders until the launch of the scheme. 

Now the GGF notes that in the detail, the glazing element is relatively low priority with only those upgrading from single glazing to double or triple glazing or if installing secondary glazing, being able to claim funding under the scheme.

John Agnew, GGF Managing Director, said: "The scheme also covers upgrading to energy efficient doors but at present there is no detail as to what this means and which products will be eligible. The amount of government assistance for glazing cannot be more than the value of the initial measures which will need to be completed first and which are different types of insulation and/or low carbon heating.



Agnew continues: “The Green Homes Grant Scheme announcement and delayed publication of operating detail has caused significant damage to many companies in our membership. Following the initial announcement last month, many homeowners cancelled or simply didn’t order their replacement glazing, in anticipation of the scheme’s September launch. Now that the details have been confirmed it is clear there is very little in this scheme for the glazing industry."


 “The biggest glazing challenge for homes is to have modern energy efficient windows - those that are C rated or above. There are currently tens of millions of double glazed windows in the UK that have been installed pre-2002 that need replacing because they are inefficient. The Green Homes Grant Scheme does not tackle this issue. Instead it leans towards, loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and cheaper, easier options.”

– John Agnew 

Managing Director , GGF


Restrictions on trade

The other reality in the scheme’s details is that it is very limited in terms of suppliers. Only installers who are accredited to PAS2030 will be allowed to carry out work under the scheme. It is estimated that of the 15,000 window and door installers in the UK, less than 5% (under 500) are PAS2030 registered. FENSA can accredit installers to PAS2030 and the GGF recommends all glazing home improvement companies who wish to qualify for work under the Green Homes Grant Scheme, register with FENSA who will support GGF members with any additional assessment requirements.

Picture: The hopes of the window replacement sector have been smashed.

Article written by Cathryn Ellis
04th August 2020


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