Last week we reported the rumours circling the industry that the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme (GHGVS) will be scrapped, leaving jobs in jeopardy. The industry has been waiting for the budget announcement to see if the rumour mill churned out some truth.
However, Rishi Sunak has come under fire for completely failing to mention the GHGVS in his 60-minute announcement, and no reference to energy efficiency in buildings is to be found in the full Budget 2021 document either.
What was detailed?
The Chancellor did however announce funding to move Scotland away from oil and gas and detailed further information on the National Infrastructure Bank, possibly to appease the mounting pressure on the Treasury to ensure that its approach to a ‘green economy’ is consistent with the UK’s long-term climate and environmental targets, including the UK’s 2050 net zero goal.
Rishi Sunak said: “If we want a better future economy… we have to do things that have never been done before,” stating that the Government has “a real commitment to green growth” and “a real commitment to create jobs where people are”. He went on to outline plans for an “investment-led recovery” in which sustainable businesses have a key role to play.
The Budget includes a £57m commitment to support cleantech and low-carbon energy jobs in Scotland. Given that more than 10% of jobs in the city and 5% in surrounding Aberdeenshire are related to offshore oil and gas, £27m will be earmarked for the Aberdeen Energy Transition Zone. The remainder of the funding will be used to develop a dedicated North Sea Transition Deal with industry and to support a global underwater engineering hub.
In total, an additional £2.4bn was allocated for the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland through the Barnett formula. Sunak said that most funding will go to measures that “grow a greener, more sustainable future”.
But what about the Green Homes Grant? Where does this leave you and your customers?