Hundreds of green home grants issued in Luton before scheme scrapped

Hundreds of vouchers for a Government energy-saving scheme were issued to Luton residents before it was scrapped, figures show.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 2:11 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th April 2021, 2:12 pm
Hundreds of green home grants were issued in Luton

Hundreds of vouchers for a Government energy-saving scheme were issued to Luton residents before it was scrapped, figures show.

The TUC union said the green homes grant – which has aided less than 10% of the homes it aimed to nationally – was a lost opportunity to create thousands of jobs and make houses more environmentally friendly.

Launched in September, the flagship policy was designed to help homeowners install energy efficient improvements with vouchers of up to £5,000, or £10,000 for those on low-incomes.

Figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy show Luton residents applied for 2,324 vouchers by the time the scheme was axed at the end of March.

Of those, 742 (32%) were issued – including 675 to low-income households.

Under the scheme, £1.5 billion was made available across England for 600,000 vouchers towards paying for measures such as insulation and low-carbon heating in hundreds of thousands of homes.

However, BEIS said just 49,000 vouchers – worth £208 million – had been issued by April 19.

The figures show two-thirds of applications for vouchers were rejected or still awaiting a decision by the end of March.

It was due to run until March 2022 before being scrapped last month, with Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng admitting that applications were not processed quickly enough.