January 20, 2021Lettings, Property News, Sales

More time to make energy saving improvements

Everybody who owns a property should like the idea of increasing its value and while fitting a top-spec kitchen or extending to add an extra bedroom may spring to mind, improving your property’s eco credentials can also boost how much it’s worth.

Making energy improvements was one of the top 5 ways of adding value to a property in a September 2020 article run by The Independent, which builds on an official Government report in 2013 that found making energy saving measures increases a property’s value by an average of 14%.

There’s also a strong link between the EPC of a property and its value, with one report suggesting homes with the best EPC ratings can be worth almost £25,000 more than their less energy efficient counterparts. For landlords, there is even more incentive to make eco changes as, by law, all let properties need to have a minimum energy rating of E.

The good news is the Government has recently changed the rules of its Green Homes Grant scheme to make it easier for landlords and homeowners to install energy efficient measures during 2021.

The old conditions

The Green Homes Grant was announced by the Chancellor in his summer statement on 8th July 2020 but there was a surprisingly tight deadline – with participants having only until 31st March 2021 to apply for the grant and complete the works.

The new conditions: a year’s extension & a boost to skills supply

The Government has made 2021 the year homes can go green by making a number of favourable changes to the Green Homes Grant. These include:-

  • An extension to the scheme, with a revised works completion date of 31st March 2022– an extra 12 months.
  • The extension also allows more trade suppliers to register, train and recruit to meet demand.
  • The vouchers will now remain valid for three months from the date they are issued or until 31 March 2022, whichever is earlier.
  • Homeowners and landlords can also request a voucher extension for circumstances outside of their control.
  • Subcontractors are no longer required to be TrustMark registered and PAS or MCS certified, which should improve the sourcing of enough trades to complete the work.

Improvements you can make using the Green Homes Grant

In order to qualify for the Green Homes Grant funding of up to £5,000 (£10,000 for those in receipt of some benefits), homeowners must install at least one of the following measures in the primary category:

  • insulation (such as loft, cavity wall or under-floor insulation); and/or
  • low carbon heating (such as air source heat, ground source heat pump or solar thermal)

The voucher can then go on to fund secondary measures, which include:-

  • double/triple glazing (where replacing single glazed windows)
  • secondary glazing (in addition to single glazing)
  • external energy efficient doors (replacing single glazed or solid doors installed before 2002)
  • heating controls
  • draught proofing
  • hot water tank thermostats and insulation

Apply & source a trade:

You can make a Green Homes Grant application and find a registered, approved trade on the Government’s official web page. There’s also a Green Homes Grant guide from the NRLA, specifically produced for landlords here.

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