In his Summer Statement on Wednesday 8 July, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced that the Government will be granting homeowners and landlords up to £5,000 to go towards making home-efficiency upgrades as part of the new Green Homes Grant Scheme.
Part of a £3billion green jobs package, the scheme is hoped to create 100,000 green jobs to kickstart the economy following the effects of the UK’s lockdown over the past few months. A goal of 650,000 homes will see energy-efficiency upgrades, such as double-glazing, to bring the UK closer to its 2050 net-zero emissions target and save families £300 a year in bills.
Applications for the vouchers will begin in September and will cover up to two thirds of upgrading costs per household. Low income households may be issued up to £10,000 from the Government for their upgrades.
While we await a comprehensive list of home improvements covered by the scheme, the confirmed upgrades are:
- Wall insulation
- Roof insulation
- Double glazing on windows and doors
The simplest way to get closer to a zero-emissions home without rebuilding elements of your home is switching to a green energy supplier. The UK have an extensive list of renewable energy providers to choose from, powering your home through solar and wind farms.
If your home is suitable, you may want to install solar panels, to power your home with green energy and even help you save on your energy bills. The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), recently introduced by the government, means most suppliers must offer you money back for excess energy you collect. Solar panels with photovoltaic (PV) cells generate energy, which is estimated to provide 40% of its power, according to the Energy Saving Trust, making it the optimal choice of solar power.
It is already commonly known that showers save water over having a bath. To take this one step further, water-saving showerheads are another easy way to reduce water and energy usage.
For households with a lot of ground space, ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) may be beneficial. A GSHP will extract energy from water circulation through pipes two metres below ground. In comparison to other heat pumps, GSHPs are more expensive to install, but are a lot cheaper to run than electric heating or oil boilers and can be cheaper to run than gas boilers. Also, having a well-designed gas pump will increase the value of your property, too.
Not all properties are suitable for wind turbines, but for some, small wind turbines are a cost-effective way of generating green energy for the home. Wind turbines should be installed in a windy location to make the investment worthwhile.
‘Solar thermal’ systems can be used to collect free heat from the sun to heat water in your household. This heating system can be combined with conventional boilers or immersion heaters to further heat the water or provide hot water when there is no sun. The initial costs will be covered by the energy collected by the sun, making your home more affordable to run and more environmentally friendly.
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