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Energy saving vouchers: Why the Government is set to give £5,000 grants to homeowners for eco-friendly insulation today

 

The vouchers will be made available to use on environmentally-friendly additions such as insulation, low-energy lighting, double glazing and energy-efficient doors

Homeowners in England will receive vouchers worth up to £5,000 to make energy-saving improvements to their properties.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will make the announcement on Wednesday as part of a £3billion green package to create jobs, upgrade buildings and protect the environment as part of efforts to rebuild the economy after Covid-19.

Campaigners said the funding was welcome as a “down payment”, but does not come close to what is needed to tackle the climate and economic crises.

How will the vouchers for homeowners work?

The Green Homes Grant scheme will see households receive vouchers worth up to £5,000 to use on environmentally-friendly additions such as insulation, low-energy lighting, double glazing and energy-efficient doors.

The way it will work, according to the Treasury, is that the Government will pay at least two-thirds of the cost of home improvements that save energy, up to that value.

The grant could be as much as £10,000 for the poorest households, and will cover the cost of the renovations in full.

The programme could save families up to £600 a year on energy bills, according to Treasury estimates.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma told BBC Breakfast: “What it ultimately means is lower bills for households, hundreds of pounds off energy bills every year, it’s supporting jobs and is very good news for the environment.”

FILE PHOTO: British Business Secretary Alok Sharma arrives in Downing Street,following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, June 2, 2020. REUTERS/John Sibley/File Photo

Rishi Sunak’s green package

Mr Sunak’s announcement will also include a £1bn programme to transform schools, hospitals and other public buildings so they are greener and more energy efficient.

Funding of £50m will go to pilot innovative schemes to retrofit social housing at scale, with measures including insulation, double glazing and heat pumps.

The Conservative manifesto pledged £9.2bn for energy efficiency, including £2.9bn for public buildings and £6.3bn for low income homes and social housing.

Ed Matthew, associate director at climate think tank E3G, said: “If this funding is the down payment on their manifesto commitment then it is a welcome start.

“If this is the total level of energy efficiency investment they are pledging then it is peanuts – barely enough to get us to the end of this year if we are to get on track to net zero.”

Greenpeace UK’s Rosie Rogers pointed to funding by other countries for a green recovery, including £36bn by the German government and £13.5bn by France, and said the UK’s £3bn “isn’t playing in the same league”.

“Of course this money is better than nothing, but it doesn’t measure up to the economic and environmental crises. It’s not enough to create the hundreds of thousands of new green jobs that are needed,” she said.

“It’s not enough to insulate all of the homes and buildings that need to be kept warm and more energy efficient.

“It’s not enough to ‘build back greener’, and it’s certainly not enough to put us on track to tackle the catastrophic impacts of the climate emergency.”

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