The Green Homes Grant has resulted in little more than 15,000 home insulation measures fitted for low income households, new data shows.
Out of the 29,211 insulations fitted since the scheme started accepting applications, around half were for those on lower incomes, according to analysis of new Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy figures by the Liberal Democrats.
This is despite these households being able to claim up to 100 per cent of the costs for home improvements under the scheme.
The Green Homes Grant was launched last year promising to upgrade 600,000 homes but was scrapped in March following low take-up and several problems.
Just 15,000 lower income homes had installation fitted under the Green Homes Grant
Although applications made prior to March are still being processed, they are dwindling as tradespeople work through the existing backlog.
This is Money takes a look at the new figures and what went wrong with the Green Homes Grant.
What was the Green Homes Grant?
Initially, the £2billion Green Homes Grant was introduced in September 2020 in a bid to help households become more energy efficient.
It allowed homeowners and landlords to apply for a voucher that would fund at least two thirds of the cost of hiring tradespeople to upgrade the energy performance of their homes.
More than 600,000 homes were eligible for the Grant with the vouchers worth up to £5,000 for most homeowners.
However, those on low incomes could receive vouchers covering 100 per cent of the cost of improvements, capped at a maximum of £10,000.
What went wrong?
There was a lack of people signing up to the scheme with just £71.3million worth of vouchers being allocated as of 22 January.
As a result, the Government pulled £1billion worth of funding from the Grant.
Another issue was that homeowners only had six months to not only apply for the voucher but also have all work completed which was an impossible task in some instances.
Other problems include smaller tradespeople being alienated from the scheme due to a registration process which was said to be both lengthy and costly.
Many households also reported struggling to find any available tradespeople due to the number of people looking to have works completed in the lockdown period.
Green Homes Grant was introduced in a bid to help households become more energy efficient
How many people took advantage of it?
New data has shown there were 113,700 household applications associated to 169,400 vouchers with 90,000 rejected, resulting in 79,400 vouchers being issued.
Of all applications, 44 per cent were withdrawn or rejected. For the rejected applications, 51 per cent were rejected as the application was deemed ineligible.
Subsequently, a further 18,800 vouchers expired, leaving vouchers issued at 60,600 with 41,300 measures installed.
This is far below the 600,000 target.
Meanwhile, just 15,182 home insulation measures have been installed for low-income households including 2,063 loft insulation measures, 4,752 pitched roof insulation measures and 5,153 external solid wall insulation measures.
Low-income households also installed 2,359 heat pumps and 5,257 solar thermal panels.
There is now only one household waiting approval before the scheme is completely shut down.
What is the Government offering now?
The Government is now offering households subsidies of £5,000 from next April towards home improvements such as heat pumps.
This, too, has been criticised as the funding will only cover up to 90,000 pumps with customers also likely having to splash out thousands of their own money in order to install one.
Aside from this, the heat and buildings strategy from the Government says it will commit to funding £3.9billion to decarbonise buildings and how they are heated.
There is also a 2035 target for all new heating systems in UK homes to be energy-efficient.
It is hoped there will be some more clarity on potential schemes revealed at COP26 in Glasgow in the coming weeks.
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