Things That Make You Go Ow! No Fix For Green Grant Gaffe

John Agnew, Managing Director of the GGF

Announcing the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme in September has caused current work to be cancelled - but the government is refusing to start it sooner to undo the damage it has caused.

The Glass and Glazing Federation has been quick to react,  writing to the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy and making a template letter available so installers and the industry at large can write to complain to their local MP.


 “We have already received numerous reports of consumers putting off orders until the scheme is launched in September, so they can benefit from the funding. The scheme’s timing is clearly creating a hiatus in trade and is seriously disturbing news for the sector.”

– John Agnew 

Managing Director, GGF


In its letter to BEIS, the  GGF asked five key questions and received the following answers:


GGF: Is there any possibility of the scheme being brought forward from September to say early August? As many companies in our sector are concerned that the two or three month delay in orders could create a hiatus and seriously affect their business and cash flow following the COVID-19 impact on their businesses.

BEIS: It’s highly unlikely that the scheme will be brought forward.



GGF: Is the Green Homes Grant Scheme going to include energy-efficient windows and doors?

BEIS: Yes - but as part of a wider refurbishment of homes aimed at achieving EPC Level C. The aim of the scheme is to significantly improve energy and heat efficiency, which can only be achieved by a number of measures.


Approved installers

GGF: It has been mentioned that consumers will be able to claim for vouchers and then pass them on to 'approved installers'. Can you clarify how the scheme is going to be administered and what the criteria would be for approved installers?

BEIS: We do not have further details of the criteria at this stage. However, it’s fair to assume installers would need to be qualified and registered with a relevant body or scheme to demonstrate they are competent to perform the work and ensure appropriate consumer protection.


Simple Energy Advice

GGF: Who is actually going to administer the scheme?

BEIS: Funding will be provided to BEIS, and administered through the Simple Energy Advice website.


Who gets it?

GGF: Can you provide any information on the application criteria for homeowners? For example, will be means tested? Is there a timeframe for application and deadlines for work to be carried out following successful application?

BEIS: Landlords or homeowners in England only will be able to apply to the scheme. It will be means-tested, with part-funding for measures covering up to two-thirds of the cost, subject to a ceiling of £5K for those not on low incomes, but the full cost of these measures subject to a ceiling of £10K available for low-income households. Applications will be through the Simple Energy Advice website, and vouchers will be issued to homeowners if their application is successful. It is expected that details of the timeframe within which this works needs to be done and published before the scheme starts in September.


Cautiously optimistic

On receiving these answers from Government, the GGF's Agnew said: “Having heard some more of the detail, we are now cautiously optimistic about this proposed new scheme.

"On the day of the announcement, we listened to Members’ reactions and we fully share their concerns. Although we are pleased the government is responding to our queries fairly quickly, we are still uncertain about the real impact of this scheme and its potential benefits to our Members."


Damaging blow

Agnew added: “We appreciate this scheme is part of the Government’s long term plan to make existing properties more energy efficient and this is welcomed, but with the Covid-19 pandemic still with us and its negative impact on business and consumer confidence, the last thing we need is another damaging blow that could create cash flow problems and an employment crisis in the industry.”


Demand action

With more reports of customer cancellations, the GGF has since written directly to Cabinet Ministers and Junior Ministers in the Government departments of BEIS, The Treasury and the Prime Minister’s Office, urging them to take immediate action.

The GGF has also issued a template letter to all its Members asking them to write to their local MPs to increase traction with Government and to try and influence change.

The template letter not only highlights the issue of the timing of the scheme and the damaging impact it is having on the industry, it also proposes solutions, such as fast tracking the scheme or allowing homeowners to claim funding retrospectively. Both proposed solutions could retrieve the situation.



Our company is just emerging from an extremely challenging financial lock down but activity levels have been encouraging over recent weeks. The Chancellor has announced plans to launch a new consumer incentive scheme to increase the energy efficiency of existing domestic properties - The Green Homes Grant Scheme.

This announcement has immediately caused major issues for our company, in the form of wide scale cancelled consumer contracts as the grant scheme does not come into force until September. The knock-on effect of the cancelled contracts will mean my company will have to consider:

  • Putting employees back in furlough or laying them off permanently.

  • Temporarily and perhaps permanently closing.

  • Our ability to pay deferred VAT revenues.

  • Our ability to purchase materials in the supply chain.

I cannot stress the negative and destabilising impact on our company that this scheme is having. The main issue which needs to be resolved as soon as possible is to stop consumers cancelling orders or placing new orders before the scheme goes live in September.


The following options to address this matter could be:

  • To make the scheme effective from the date of the Chancellor’s announcement with details to follow that will protect existing and new orders.

  • To allow consumers the option of claiming the funding retrospectively (i.e. from orders placed on the day Chancellor’s announcement 8 July 2020).

With each passing hour we are losing business. Given the urgency of this situation I ask that you raise this crisis in Parliament.


 “It has been confirmed that Green Homes Grant details will not be available until September. We are very concerned this will cause consumers to hold off until details are available. This was a very unwise move and may cause a new downturn.”

– Anthony C Jones 

Chairman, National Federation of Glaziers


Picture: John Agnew, Managing Director of the GGF who is concerned the Green Homes Grant scheme may cause more harm than good in the short term.

Article written by Cathryn Ellis
17th July 2020


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