Update June 2021: The government discontinued the voucher scheme but the council’s scheme for low income households has continued.
The Green Homes Grant (GHG) could help local people to save money on their energy bills and help to tackle climate change at the same time. It is now available to the borough’s residents.
GHG is a new, national initiative which provides grants to cover home improvements and help households to be more energy efficient. It will be available until 31 March 2022 after recently being extended by a year.
Homeowners and landlords in Ealing can now apply for a voucher towards the cost of installing energy efficient and low-carbon heating improvements to homes, which could help save up to £600 a year on energy bills.
Successful applicants could get up to £5,000 to cover two-thirds of the cost of home improvements, meaning you can get up to £7,500 worth of work for just £2,500. Residents with low incomes, including those on certain benefits, are eligible for a grant covering all works up to £10,000.
A voucher can cover green home improvements ranging from insulation of walls, lofts, floors and roofs, to low-carbon heating like heat pumps or solar thermal – measures that could help households cut their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint.
TrustMark registered installers will be able to help residents make a plan.
All residents can find out more at the Simple Energy Advice website.
Extra help for low-income households
As part of its ongoing commitment to addressing the climate emergency, Ealing Council is leading a group of seven London boroughs in helping local people on low incomes to make the most of this GHG opportunity.
This means that Ealing has been awarded £4.78million to carry out efficiency works on up to 800 homes across the participating boroughs to transform their energy efficiency ratings, securing savings for those living in the coldest and least efficient properties and helping each borough reduce its carbon emissions.
To be eligible for this scheme residents must live in a home with an energy rating of E, F, or G and have a total household income of less than £30,000 (including benefits). If you do not know your energy score, you can check at www.epcregister.com – and, if you think you are eligible, you can contact the council’s Healthy Homes Ealing service on 0800 083 2265 (free) Monday-Friday, 9am-5.30pm, or use the online referral form.
In addition, low income households can apply for a Green Homes Grant and also to the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme at the same time, which helps low income households and those living in homes rated D or below, to carry out additional measures. Again, call the Healthy Homes Ealing team for advice.
Climate action plan
Creating more energy efficient homes is part of the council’s ambitious climate action plan, which was announced in May of this year. It aims to secure a carbon-neutral future for the borough by 2030.
Household heating is one of the main contributors of carbon emissions in the UK, meaning that reducing energy consumption is vital if we are to achieve these aims. All new council homes in the borough will be designed to zero carbon standards and built to these standards by 2022.
‘Reduce energy bills and help tackle the climate emergency’
Council leader Julian Bell said: “Ealing is taking the lead in ensuring residents are supported in accessing GHG vouchers so they can take full advantage of the opportunity to significantly reduce energy bills and help tackle the climate emergency.
“Our climate action plan also commits to securing good quality, genuinely affordable homes that reduce running costs and carbon emissions and help tackle the threat of fuel poverty.
“We are treating climate change as a crisis, and we need a swift and sweeping response to tackle it.
“The plans tackle carbon reduction from a number of key areas, including transport, as well as supporting local businesses so they can thrive and be ecologically sound at the same time.
“In 2018 the UN reported that we had 12 years left to act on climate change to avoid a global disaster, and last year, we declared a climate emergency.
“Acting now will dramatically improve the council’s environmental performance and help to protect residents from the impacts of climate change in the future.”
The next stage of Ealing’s climate action plan will be heard by the council’s cabinet in January.