£5,000 Green Homes Grant Budget Slashed by £1.5bn
The UK government is set to withdraw millions of pounds from its Green Homes Program, just 6 months after launch, disappointing many homeowners and installation businesses. The decision has left a huge question mark on the government’s commitment to green energy.
95% of the budget for this program was already unspent due to poor administration on the government’s part. As of January 22, 2021, only £71 million out of the announced £1.5bn had been spent. Now, the government is withdrawing most of that unspent amount altogether.
What is the Green Homes Grant?
Last June, the government launched a £2 billion scheme, £1.5bn of which went to the Green Homes Grant program while £500 million were reserved for improving council housing. The purpose was to encourage people to install greener equipment like insulation and boilers in their homes. After extending the grant until March 2022, business minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan announced that the government had decided not to roll over the full budget for the program and announced a measly £320 million for the grant.
The justification provided was that the £1.5bin announced last year was a short-term stimulus. With that amount remaining unspent, the stimulus hardly provided any benefit. The cut in stimulus money also raised the question of whether people who had already installed new equipment in their homes would receive the money from the government.
Public left stranded with bills
Homeowners and installation businesses that already spent money and were waiting for the government grant to clear are now left with nothing, and may never see their money again.
The chief executive of Solar Energy UK was not impressed by the move. He said the government’s failure to fulfill its promises was an alarming failure on their part and a major blow to the UK’s transition towards green energy. With the way the government has handled it, the program has become nothing but a political spectacle. He compared the move to “pulling the rug from underneath consumers and installers”.
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