Once the centrepiece of Boris Johnson’s promise to ‘build back greener’, the £1.5bn programme, offering households grants of up to £10,000 to install insulation or low-carbon heating, leaves the UK without a plan for tackling one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions and leaves the government falling short on its promise to create tens of thousands of green jobs.
Far from creating new green jobs, the environmental audit committee found that some builders and installers actually had to lay off staff, owing to problems with the scheme.
A damning assessment of the scheme was delivered by a committee of MPs last week, that found the scheme ‘botched (in) implementation’ and ‘nothing short of disastrous’.
In addition to the funds already granted to support people on low incomes to gain access to energy efficiency improvements through local authorities, the government announced on Saturday that an extra £300m will be dedicated to this.
The secretary of state for business and energy, Kwasi Kwarteng. said: ‘Upgrading the country’s homes with energy efficiency measures means we can cut emissions and save people money on their energy bills. Today’s funding boost will mean even more households across England are able to access these vital grants through their local authority. This latest announcement takes our total energy efficiency spending to over £1.3bn in the next financial year, giving installers the certainty they need to plan ahead, create new jobs and train the next generation of builders, plumbers and tradespeople.’
There were more than 123,000 applications for the grant by the end of February this year, after starting last September, but only 28,000 vouchers had been issues and only 5,800 energy efficiency measures had been installed. From the start of April, no new applications will be accepted, although people who have had their applications for vouchers under the scheme will received any money owed.
Do you have a sense of certainty to plan ahead, create new jobs and train the next generation of installers, with a backing from the government? We’d love to hear from you.