Only around 169 families in South Gloucestershire have been supported to better insulate their homes under the government’s flagship Green Homes Grant scheme, new figures have revealed.
The scheme was meant to help people upgrade their homes to net-zero standards and cut their energy bills through fitting better insulation or heat pumps, but was scrapped earlier this year after just six months. However, figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats show how the scheme has failed families in the local area.
The data shows just 169 energy efficiency measures have been installed in homes in South Gloucestershire under the Green Homes Grant scheme. Of these only 58 were for low income households.
The figures have led the Liberal Democrat to accuse the government of “abandoning families” facing soaring energy prices this winter and condemning them to eye-watering heating bills in future.
The Green Homes Grant was launched in September 2020 promising to upgrade 600,000 homes, with vouchers of up to £10,000 to make their homes more energy efficient or replace old boilers. However it was scrapped just six months later following low take-up and severe mismanagement. The latest figures reveal that across the country only 39,474 homes have been helped under the scheme, including 22,000 low-income households.
Applications made before March 2021 are still being processed, but most have now been finalised. There was also no replacement scheme announced at last week’s Budget, meaning homeowners are being left with no direct government support for green home improvements.
The Liberal Democrats are calling on the government to announce an emergency programme to insulate people’s homes, reduce energy bills and cut the UK’s carbon emissions. It comes as world leaders meet in Glasgow this week at the COP summit to discuss global climate targets.
Claire Young, leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition group on South Glos Council said:
“It is shocking that so few homes in South Gloucestershire have been helped to insulate their homes through the Green Homes Grant scheme.
“This initiative was launched to much fanfare and was meant to help thousands of people make energy efficiency improvements to their homes. Instead, families are being abandoned ahead of the cold winter months at a time energy bills are soaring.
“The Government must show the UK is a global leader in tackling climate change by launching an emergency programme to insulate our homes, reduce emissions and slash heating bills.
“We need to end fuel poverty and make sure that families in South Gloucestershire aren’t forced to choose between heating and eating.”
Full data on the number of energy efficiency measures installed under the Green Homes Grant scheme by local authority and constituency is available here.
Image credit: Knauf Insulation