New research commissioned by City Plumbing to find out if homeowners know about and plan to use the Government’s Green Homes Grant shows massive demand, and an opportunity for tradespeople.
According to the survey of 1,000 homeowners living in England, 8 out of 10 (84%) are planning to make their main residential property more energy efficient in the next 12 months, and two-thirds (67%) are aware of the financial assistance that the Green Homes Grant could offer them.
The scheme, which currently ends in March 2021, allows qualifying homeowners and landlords in England to apply for a voucher valued at up to £10,000.
This can be used to help cover some of the cost of installing a variety of ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ energy efficient upgrades such as insulation, triple glazing, and heat controls.
However, installers must be registered to TrustMark and, when installing low carbon heating measures, must also be Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accredited to take part.
More than a quarter (28%) of those considering improvements intend to use the scheme to help cover the cost, while only 7% have already started with changes partially funded by the Green Homes Grant.
Interestingly, the likelihood of using the Grant appears to increase with the property value. Just one in five (22%) homeowners with a property valued at £101-£200k plan to use it, versus three in five (61%) of those with a home valued at £600k or more.
According to the research, the most popular energy efficient home improvements that are covered by the Grant are:
Homeowners involved with a large-scale property build project are most interested in solar thermal (20%), air source heat pumps (20%), ground source heat pumps (13%) and biomass boilers (10%).
On the other hand, homeowners who are extending their existing property are most interested in underfloor heating (23%), double or triple glazing (15%), a hot water tank thermostat (12%) and a hybrid heat pump (11%).
Over half of the homeowners surveyed (53%) said that they would make these green home enhancements in order to reduce their energy bills, whilst more than four in ten (44%) said they would do it as ‘it is important for the environment’.
Nearly a third (31%) believe that the improvements could make their home more comfortable for them and their family, whilst a quarter (27%) believe it would make their property more attractive to prospective buyers.
While the research shows the demand for accredited installers, in some instances, homeowners reported that qualified tradespeople have been hard to find.
Of those who have already gone ahead with an eco-home project, almost one in five (16%) had not been able to find a suitable tradesperson to do the work on their property, whilst a further 18% had found a suitable tradesperson within 50 miles of their home, but they weren’t available to do the work in the desired timeframe.
All in all, less than a third (28%) had been able to find a suitable tradesperson within 50 miles of their home who was available to do the work when they wanted.
Steve Alldritt, Technical Director of City Plumbing’s Energy Efficiency Team, added: “For homeowners, making energy efficient changes saves money in the long run, reduces environmental impact and can even make a property more appealing to future buyers. It really is a ‘win-win’ situation – particularly while the government’s Green Homes Grant can help to cover the initial installation costs.
“The research shows that demand for ‘green’ upgrades is high, whether it be low carbon heating, biomass boilers or heating controls. The opportunity is there for tradespeople to cash in on, but time is of the essence.
“We have created a guide for installers that helps explain what support and advice we can offer at City Plumbing, to help increase their sales through the scheme.”