Mark Wilkins, Technologies & Training Director comments on the closure of the Green Homes Grant
"The closure of the Green Homes Grant was announced on Friday, just five days before the last applications can be submitted. It is a huge disappointment that the Green Homes Grant (GHG) has closed so abruptly, however, it was not unexpected due to the ongoing issues the application process has had. In the six months that the GHG has been live, only a third of the vouchers have been issued from a total of 96,000 applications₁. Of these applications over 6,000 have been for heat pumps, but only 1,758 have received the voucher₂.
“We welcome the funds re-allocated towards the Local Authority Delivery scheme as it will support those in fuel poverty, however, it will not completely develop the supply chain. As announced in the 10-point plan, the green revolution set a strong ambition of 600,000 heat pumps in 2028. To reach this figure the industry needs to support the smaller businesses and one-man bands. So far, the government have promised much more than they can deliver with this audience. Installers have been given a burdensome process to claim the vouchers and had to apply for extra accreditation through Trustmark and then, with very little notice, funding has then been withdrawn because it doesn’t work. Vaillant has been working with other manufactures and the Heat Pump Association to develop and deliver a low carbon training plan to support heat pump engineers, by closing the GHG removes the incentive for small businesses to upskill and fit heat pumps.
“Vaillant calls for a rapid enquiry into the failure of the GHG so that we can build the trust back up within the industry that heat pumps are a key method to decarbonise the UK and develop the Clean Heat Grant to make it a success when it is due to launch in March 2022.”