The government’s Green Homes Grant has been slammed by MPs for its snail’s pace progress, complications and poor delivery.
The all-party Environmental Audit Select Committee says only six per cent of the budget assigned for the grants in 2020/21 has actually been spent - meaning many landlords will not have received money they want.
In addition just 20,000 vouchers have been issued out of an anticipated 600,000 up to now - five months following the launch of the £2 billion scheme.
The committee says: “The Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme opened for applications on 30th September. In November 2020 we conducted a survey to find out how easy it had been for home improvers to access.
“In total, 510 people responded to the survey. Alarmingly, 86 per cent of those responding to the survey had had a poor experience with the process, although just over half applying had found the Green Homes Grant eligibility calculator helpful.
“The eligibility criteria, however, prevented many from being able to access vouchers for the measures they required: homeowners must install primary measures before receiving the same funding towards secondary measures.”
And it goes on to say: “We welcome the intention behind the Government’s Green Homes Grant. It is disappointing that the administration of the scheme appears to be putting green jobs at risk, rather than creating them.
“Delivery has been poor for consumers and has led to perverse consequences for installers, and the scheme remains too short-term to have any prospect of achieving its initial targets. We recommend that the Green Homes Grant scheme be urgently overhauled and extended to provide greater long-term stimulus to the domestic energy efficiency sector.
“The Government must be mindful not to repeat the mistakes of the failed Green Deal energy efficiency incentive scheme.”
Meera Chindooroy, deputy policy director for the National Residential Landlords Association, says in response: “Our own survey data shows that 43 per cent of landlords are interested in applying for a grant and there is clear appeal in the potential of the scheme to ensure the energy efficiency improvements we all want to see.
“Given that just six per cent of the budget assigned for the grants in 2020/21 has actually been spent, the scheme is simply failing to achieve the results Ministers had hoped. We agree with the Select Committee that the eligibility criteria for the scheme is preventing many from being able to access it and Ministers need to address this as a matter of urgency.”