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Green Homes Grants


We know that saving energy is less expensive than producing energy. It is also a low-cost approach to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. So, the good news is that starting from this month, homeowners and landlords in the UK can apply for a ‘green homes grant’ to cover the cost of retrofitting their homes and buildings to make them more energy efficient!

This recently announced grant by the Government covers two-thirds of the cost of energy-saving home improvements, rising to 100 percent for the poorest households. A total of £2bn has been earmarked, of which £1bn will be allocated to public sector buildings and £50m will be used to decarbonise social housing.

The Government expects more than 600,000 UK homes to become more energy efficient as a result and to support more than 100,000 jobs in green construction. Friends of the Earth’s head of policy, Mike Childs, called the green homes grant a good stepping stone but added it was “not yet a green recovery”. Why only a stepping stone? The hard truth is that over the next decade 15 million homes will need insulation to eradicate fuel poverty and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The poor quality of the UK’s housing stock has long been a focus of many environment groups in tackling the climate emergency. Not only do older (and not so old) properties need much better insulation to reduce the amount of energy they waste but they also need an alternative energy supply to fossil fuels. UK homes account for nearly one fifth of the UK’s total carbon dioxide emissions last year, largely from natural gas use for heating and cooking. According to the UK Green Building Council, the Government’s net-zero target for 2050 will require almost all of the UK’s 29 million homes to be retrofitted.

Towns and cities that lead on climate, lead on buildings. It’s a core part of every local climate action plan. Making over half a million homes across the UK more energy efficient is a good start, but it is indeed only the start.

Photo by jules a. on Unsplash.

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