An analysis of the Green Homes Grant applications show exactly which areas will be hit most when the scheme comes to a sudden finish at the end of today.
The government announced over the weekend that the £1.5 billion GHG programme - which was for landlords and owner occupiers - would end. After launching last September, by the end of last month there were over 123,000 applications for the grants but just 28,000 vouchers had been issued and only 5,800 energy-efficient installations made.
Now a new analysis shows that the North West, North East and Yorkshire & the Humber account for more than 40 per cent of the applications - this compares with just 20 per cent of applications in London and the South East.
The Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit - which made the calculations - says these regions along with the Midlands are also the areas that have some of the highest rates of fuel poverty and greatest proportion of homes below Energy Performance Certificate band C, a target that the government has set for all homes to reach by 2035.
Application rates were highest in the North West (7.2 per 1000 households) and Yorkshire and the Humber (7.3 per 1000 households), compared with just 2.6 per 1000 households in London and 3.0 per 1000 in the South East. The England-wide average is 4.5 applications per 1000 households, government data shows.
Jess Ralston, analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, says: “Pulling the plug on the green homes grant sends the wrong message to many new Conservative voters in the North and Midlands who will unfortunately bear the brunt of broken promises to fix up millions of leaky homes.
“Local communities will also be harmed by the inability to deliver thousands of new skilled jobs, a core tenet of the government’s aims to level up the nation at the same time as bringing emissions down to net zero.
“There is no way to get to net zero without tackling emissions from our homes. Public participation is essential in reaching this goal and so far the government is doing its best to make life difficult for families keen to take action on their carbon footprints.”
And Brian Robson, executive director at the Northern Housing Consortium which represents councils and housing groups, adds: “The North’s homes are older and colder than the national average, so it’s only natural that there were high levels of interest in the Green Homes Grant from our regions.
“The North of England needs an end to stop-start policy on home upgrades: only a long-term commitment to decarbonise our homes will enable us to build the skills and supply chains necessary to undertake this work at scale. If we get that commitment from government, we can create thousands of good green jobs, delivering not just on net zero, but levelling-up too.”