The government’s Green Homes Grant scheme was scrapped in March. It was in operation for only six months, despite it being central to Boris Johnson’s promise to “build back greener” from the Covid-19 pandemic.
These five charts show what the scheme has accomplished.
Less than a quarter of the scheme’s £1.5bn budget has been spent so far. In March this year, a committee of MPs deemed the administration of the scheme to be disastrous, saying that it had been rushed in conception, and poorly implemented.
Both tradespeople and homeowners struggled to meet the many requirements that came with the voucher system. Some businesses reportedly had to fire staff because of a buildup of late payments by the government.
As a result, the ambition of retrofitting 600,000 homes by the end of 2021 didn’t come close to being met. Only 90.783 applications are currently either pending or approved.
During its lifetime, the scheme received over 113,700 applications. The largest number of applications were received in March 2021, following the announcement that the programme was being scrapped.
Homeowners can face long waiting times when applying for a voucher. Over 41% of applications from March are still pending.
The available measures that could be installed under the scheme, such as insulation, low carbon heating systems and energy efficient doors and windows, were divided into ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ measures. Every voucher had to fund at least one primary measure before it could cover secondary measures.
Birmingham has so far benefited the most from the vouchers, with over 400 measures already installed. As a region, the South East of England has seen the biggest uptake, with 2600 energy improvements.
Under the rules of the scheme, low income households were entitled to claim up to 100% of the cost of their improvements made to their home, rather than just two-thirds. They could also receive twice as much money.
Compared to other households, low income households were more than twice as likely to get a low carbon heating system installed, such as a heat pump or a solar thermal system.
Secondary measures, such as installing double glazing, were also much more popular with lower income households.
Some measures were much more costly to install than others - with external solid wall insulation and hybrid heat pumps being the most expensive. Over £12 million has been paid towards the former.
External wall insulation was also the most popular measure to have done. More than 11,000 vouchers have been issued towards this goal.