Contractors must quality accredited to be able to take part in the new £2 billion Green Homes Grant scheme, which was announced last month. The scheme details outline how the government will fund up to two-thirds of the cost of home improvements of over 600,000 homes.
Tradespeople must register for TrustMark or Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accreditation to take part in the scheme, which will cover green home improvements ranging from insulation of walls, floors and roofs, to the installation of low-carbon heating, like heat pumps or solar thermal.
Vouchers worth up to £5,000 will be issued to homeowners in England to make their homes more energy efficient. Households on low incomes can receive vouchers covering 100% of the cost of the improvements, up to a maximum of £10,000.
Business and Energy Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Our TrustMark scheme will guarantee that building work is completed to a high standard by accredited tradespeople, ensuring consumers are fully protected.”
Mark Kelly, CEO at Eurocell plc, said: “The government has put quality assurance at the heart of the scheme, stating that tradespeople must register for TrustMark or Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accreditation to take part. Whilst we 100% support prioritising quality assurance and jobs being undertaken to the highest standard, we hope that any additional bureaucracy doesn’t lead to less work for smaller companies and installers.”
However, the heating sector expressed concern as boilers will not be included in this scheme, Martyn Bridges, Director of Technical Communication and Product Management at Worcester Bosch commented; “Although we support any scheme that actively tries to improve the efficiency of UK homes, the fact that upgrading boilers is not included in this grant is an oversight. There are still anything up to 6m non-condensing boilers in operation so upgrading to a high efficiency condensing boiler would have made a significant improvement to these homes.
“Another concern is that tradespeople need to be TrustMark or MCS accredited registered companies to undertake the work. The overwhelming majority of heating installation businesses are not members as they are small, one-man operated businesses. Therefore, while we will end up with more efficient properties for homeowners, there will be no great job retention outcome for the businesses that are not able to take advantage of this grant.”Ω