Have you been eyeing up some of the energy-saving measures covered by the Green Homes Grant for your home? Here's how to find someone to carry out your project.
Making your home more energy-efficient and sustainable isn't just for the benefit of the planet. You'll save yourself money on your heating bills, while recent research from E.ON also found that 77% of people would be more likely to buy a house that has considered eco-credentials than those that didn't.
Team that with the Government’s new Green Homes Grant scheme, announced back in July, and you've got a compelling case to get started on making your home greener before the deadline of March 31st 2021. The Green Homes Grant allows homeowners to claim vouchers of up to £5,000 to spend on these home improvements, with households receiving benefits able to claim up to £10,000.
Read more: What is the Green Homes Grant?
Whether you choose from the list of primary measures such as insulation or heat pump installation, or double up and tackle secondary measures such as single glazed windows and smart home heating, you'll need to find a qualified tradesperson or installer to take on your job to be able to claim your voucher.
Consumer advice website HomeOwners Alliance has offered Good Homes magazine up their top tips for finding a tradesperson and avoiding scams.
Do your research
Your first point of call should be the Simple Energy Advice website. This government-backed site offer general advice on home improvements, as well as letting you know what you're eligible for under the Green Home Grant and other government schemes such as the Renewable Heat Incentive.
Answer some basic questions about your home, find your EPC rating certificate and build a plan based on the site's recommendations before searching through the database of tradespeople to find an installer in your local area.
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Find an installer
You don't necessarily have free range whe it comes to choosing a builder for your Green Homes Grant scheme project. You need to use firms registered with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) or Trustmark. Both are government recognised organisations that ensure their members deliver to a certain standard.
You can search their individual sites or go to the Simple Energy Advice website which will link you through to local registered installers. Speak to the firm about your project, and where possible arrange a site visit. Always get at least three quotes where possible.
Decide on your budget
When it comes to financing your project, two‐thirds of the costs covered by the government is paid in vouchers to the installer directly. Make sure you get a break down of costs in a quote including the claimed voucher.
Under the Green Homes Grant, secondary measures are capped to match the amount you claimed on primary measures, so ensure your quote takes that into consideration.
Once you have a clear idea of costs, you can make sure you have the funds in place. For more advice, check out the HomeOwners Alliance guide on the Best Ways to Fund Home Improvements.
According to the HomeOwners Alliance, within days of the government scheme being announced, scam emails and phone calls were being made to homeowners in England.
You need to apply for the Green Homes Grant yourself, so make sure you don't respond to any cold calls – take the lead and contact registered companies after carrying out your research.
Start getting quotes
Installers can start applying for vouchers from the end of September 2020, but you can get started on getting quotes for your project now, finding and booking in the work to be completed. You must apply for a voucher by 31 March 2021.
For more advice on all your home owning and moving questions, plus services you can trust, visit the HomeOwners Alliance property advice website.
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