Be ready for the new Green Homes Grants

Be ready for the new Green Homes Grants

The Government’s new Green Homes Grant scheme is an opportunity to improve the energy efficiency of thousands of households across England whilst also generating new business for heating installers, says Gareth Ash, Marketing Manager at Danfoss.
Announced in the Chancellor’s mini-budget in July, the £2 billion Green Homes Grant scheme will allow homeowners and landlords in both the private rented and social housing sectors to apply for a voucher to fund at least two thirds of the cost of hiring tradespeople to upgrade the energy performance of their homes. The maximum contribution under the scheme will be £5,000, or for those on lower incomes a 100% grant up to £10,000 will be available for certain work. Modern heating controls, like those manufactured by Danfoss, are among the measures eligible for funding under the scheme. Independent tests have demonstrated the energy-saving benefits of high efficiency electronic heating controls, such as fully programmable room thermostats and thermostatic radiator valves (TRV), as well as the importance of proper hydronic balance for optimum efficiency and temperature control.
Scheduled to run until the end of March 2021, this latest green homes initiative by the Government will help households save money on their energy bills, help to cut carbon emissions from homes, and create new jobs and work for many thousands of builders, plumbers and other tradespeople. In order to carry out improvements covered by the scheme companies must be TrustMark registered or be approved via the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). TrustMark is the Government-endorsed quality scheme and will guarantee that any work is completed to a high standard and will ensure consumers are fully protected. Households will be able to choose from approved tradespeople in their areas to carry out the work, but only approved and accredited installers can be commissioned. It is important, therefore, that any heating installers who haven’t already done so sign up for the relevant accreditation now in order to maximise this business opportunity.
Available measures
Over 600,000 homes have now been revealed to be eligible for a Grant. All owner-occupied homes and park home owners (for residential sites) are eligible, as are landlords of domestic properties in the private rented and social housing sectors, including local authority owned homes: new-build residential and non-domestic properties are not eligible. The available measures that can be subsidised under the scheme are split into ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ categories. To qualify for funding, households will need to install at least one of the primary measures. These include solid wall, cavity wall, roof and loft insulation, and low carbon heat solutions, such as air and ground source heat pumps and solar thermal systems.

As long as there is at least one primary measure in the package of works households will also be able to install one or more secondary improvement, which will be subsidised up to the amount of subsidy provided for the primary measures. Offering homeowners the potential for further energy savings, these secondary measures include appliance thermostats, hot water tank thermostats, hot water tank insulation, smart heating controls, zone controls, delayed start thermostats, and TRVs.

Heating controls
Properly selected and installed, TRVs from leading manufacturers like Danfoss offer up to 30% savings on heating consumption. They are an easy-to-fit solution for installers and have an estimated payback period of just two heating seasons for their customers. Examples include the Danfoss Eco™ thermostat, designed to work with Bluetooth® technology, giving homeowners in-home control of their radiators from their smartphone using the App.

Other heating controls eligible for a Green Homes Grant are smart thermostats. Options available from Danfoss include the TPOne-S™, an intuitive programmable room thermostat offering new levels of user-friendly interaction, and Danfoss Icon™, specially designed for hydronic underfloor heating installations. A series of room thermostats and zone controllers, Danfoss Icon™ provides optimal temperature control and also features automatic hydronic balancing for maximum efficiency.

Offering the potential for increased energy savings with a ‘Delayed Start’ function the Danfoss TP5001 and extended TPOne™ range of intelligent room thermostats also qualify for the scheme. Selecting ‘Delayed Start’ pauses the heating startup at the scheduled time depending on the difference between ambient and required temperature, thereby reducing energy consumption.

Long term benefits
Heating buildings accounts for a significant amount of UK greenhouse gas emissions and reducing carbon dioxide from homes will be essential to reaching the ultimate goal of Net Zero by 2050. The Green Homes Grant is a significant investment by Government in energy efficiency and a step towards delivering low carbon housing. At Danfoss we believe it will provide long term benefits for those who upgrade their homes and create new work for thousands of tradespeople like heating installers – so make sure your business is ready to get on board.
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