Sharma Alarm

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma

The Chair of the Certass Trade Association was quick to raise the alarm with Alok Sharma that the Green Homes Grant might delay orders rather than encourage them.

We've got the text of Jon Vanstone's letter to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Although it was the Chancellor Rishi Sunak who announced the Green Homes Grant in his 9 July Summer Statement, it was Sharma who had first revealed the plans during a BBC Breakfast interview the day before as it is his department that will take the lead on the scheme.


To read TheInstaller's first coverage - Wowcher - Home Owners To Get £5K Each For Energy Saving Improvements - Click Here


 “The recent announcement on 8th July has unfortunately had the unintentional consequence of damaging the glazing industry as it gives false hope to consumers of being able to acquire glazing work in September through a funded programme”

– Jon Vanstone 

Chair, Certass Trade Association


Immediate impact

'This has already led to a huge number of job cancellations as consumers wait for government updates to see if they are eligible for the support,' Certass Trade Association's Vanstone continued to write. 'Before the announcement, the glazing industry was bouncing back successfully, both with installations that had been postponed during lockdown and new business.

'I would like to ask for immediate clarity on the Green Homes Grant scheme as regards the position of glazing. I suggest that the most appropriate position is to include glazing as a primary measure for the scheme and to enable the backdating of funds to consumers with immediate effect.

'This would result in immediately unlocking the industry-wide problem created by the announcement, create a huge positive in the energy profile of housing stock in the UK and deliver massive benefits in consumer spending for the economy'.


Huge advantages

'Glazing replacement does not deliver the highest level of impact on CO2 emissions but has huge advantages in that it is available to any property in the UK and has an industry active infrastructure level that enables immediate delivery through established SMEs and local micro businesses.

'Replacement windows and doors also provide significant improvement benefits to homeowners and occupiers. The success of previous grant initiatives for wall insulation means that many of the remaining uninsulated homes fall into the harder to treat category. Therefore, the most likely primary measure pathway for the fund, as currently detailed, is the installation of External Wall Insulation (EWI). There are currently not enough trained people to survey, co-ordinate or install EWI to the required standards and given the housing stock in the UK, the government is unlikely to achieve its goals through insulation alone.

'In comparison, the glazing industry already has the infrastructure in place that can deliver an immediate positive impact. Glazing presents an opportunity to deliver on government’s energy promises, support an industry that will protect existing and create new jobs and bolster the UK economy.


UK jobs

'It is also pertinent to point out that the vast majority of windows and doors are manufactured in UK factories, strengthening jobs further up the supply chain'.


Our turn to shine

Vanstone was also quick to point out that other energy savings measures have already been tried and now shold be the turn of the glazing industry to step up to the plate. He continued to write: 'The impact of the 2013 Green Deal suggests that the method of focusing on the potential gains offered by the existing primary measures is unlikely to succeed in securing and creating long-term jobs or improving the housing stock. Glazing has considerable advantages to the UK if enabled as a primary method for the Green Homes Grant scheme, in that the infrastructure is already there in the market at a local level to deliver the benefits of improved energy efficiency, comfort and home value.

'Such a programme could revitalise our sector whilst also helping government deliver on its promises. The glazing industry is dominated by SME businesses, who whilst reasonably supported by Covid-19 intervention, are now in a position of considerable instability.



'Time is of the essence for the glazing industry due to the unintended handbrake of the Green Homes Grant. However, glazing can be your vehicle for achieving your aims if September funding can include glazing as a primary measure and be backdated to July so UK consumers will continue to upgrade their homes.

'If the current position is not rectified urgently, the damage to the sector will be considerable as regards job losses and company closures.

Picture: Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, who has received a letter from Jon Vanstone, Chair of the Certass Trade Association raising the alarm that delaying details of the Green Homes Grant scheme until September may unintentionally cause homeowners to put off commissioning home improvements.


To read what other industry leaders are saying about the Green Homes Grant - Green Grant Could Cripple Industry It Is Supposed To Save - Click Here


Article written by Cathryn Ellis
17th July 2020


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