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Now that the Green Homes Grant is fully launched, the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is encouraging tradespeople to sign up with this handy guide on how to become an accredited installer.
Recent reports in the news have revealed that many homeowners who would like to take advantage of the Green Homes Grant to install energy efficiency measures in their homes are struggling to find an accredited installer. Within a matter of weeks from the scheme’s launch on 30th September, BEIS was processing over 20,000 applications from homeowners and residential landlords. However, on the same date only 1000 companies had signed up to deliver the services offered under the scheme.
In response, BEIS is stepping up efforts to ensure there are enough installers to meet demand. To make the process easier for contractors, BEIS has put together this handy guide to getting accredited to deliver services under the Green Homes Grant.
Vouchers are available for up to £5000 for most homeowners, or £10,000 for low income households, which runs until 31 March next year. The vouchers can be put towards a range of energy efficiency measures, including heat pumps and solar thermal systems. There are also a number of ‘secondary measures’ that can be funded alongside the main installations, including controls such as TRVs and smart heating controls. For a full explanation of the available measures, and how the ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ measures work, go online: greenhomesgrant.campaign.gov.uk
How to get accredited
Installers looking to become a registered Green Homes Grant installer are advised to first to check out what qualifications they should have already (see boxed-out section). Once that is established, BEIS offers these six steps to get a company ready to participate in the scheme:
1 Register as a certified installer with TrustMark
Installers will be added to a directory of certified installers, where homeowners can contact them to get a quote.
2 Register to be a Green Homes Grant Installer on GOV.UK
You will be asked to sign up to the terms and conditions of the scheme and provide your company’s details for payment. You will need to register for each of the scheme’s measures you are planning to carry out. You must have received confirmation that your registration has been successful before you offer to carry out work under the scheme.
3 Once registered, you can give quotes to customers
The price quoted should reflect the total costs of the installation including materials, labour and VAT. It should be your usual price and not be higher than the price you would have quoted if the installation was not being carried out under the scheme.
4 Once you give your quote to the customer, they can apply for a voucher
If approved, the voucher will contain your name or your business’s name. Vouchers cannot be used to help pay for works that were carried out before the voucher was issued.
5 When your customer receives their voucher, you can start work
You should not start any work until the customer’s application has been approved, they have been issued with a voucher, and have asked you to go ahead with the work.
6 When the work is complete, you’ll be paid in five working days
You will be paid for the costs covered by the voucher once the work has been completed and you have confirmed you have received any customer contribution. The payment will come from the grant administrator. Most installers will get the grant payment within five working days.
Where a customer contribution is required, the customer contribution is a condition of voucher eligibility. Accepting non-payment to secure the work – or paying this yourself – will make the voucher invalid and constitute fraud.
TrustMark, the government endorsed quality scheme, is a key part of the Green Homes Grant. According to Business and Energy Secretary Alok Sharma: “Our TrustMark scheme will guarantee that building work is completed to a high standard by accredited tradespeople, ensuring consumers are fully protected.”
Simon Ayers, CEO of TrustMark, adds: “TrustMark is proud to be a part of the Green Homes Grant scheme and we are fully committed to helping ensure the tradespeople carrying out the works are supported, as they prepare to rise to the challenge and deliver energy efficient, low carbon homes fit for the future.
“Never has the opportunity for businesses to develop and grow and support the delivery of a low carbon future been so great. We are seeing changing behaviours of consumers start to drive those all-important questions about protecting the future, the action needed to deliver quality products and services, and for businesses to be at the forefront of this delivery and understanding, the time to act is now.”
Reasons to apply
BEIS lays out the reasons contractors should sign up as a Green Homes Grant installer:
• £2 billion of government money available for homeowners to upgrade their homes under the scheme.
• The scheme creates new work for accredited tradespeople in green construction, supporting more than 100,000 jobs across the UK.
• With rising demand for green home improvements, as a Green Homes Grant installer you can expect to see an increase in your customer volumes.
• Businesses and tradespeople will be able to play their part in making housing stock fit for the future. Collectively, we will be able to deliver low carbon homes, providing healthier and more comfortable living conditions, whilst helping reach the goal of net-zero carbon by 2050.
• It is estimated 24 million homes across the country need energy-efficiency improvements, which is a huge opportunity for tradespeople.
• It is a fantastic opportunity for companies to affirm their green credentials and enhance their reputation in the industry as a trusted installer, with a TrustMark quality marker.
To become a Green Homes Grant installer, you must already be certified to install energy efficiency measures against Publicly Available Specification (PAS) standards:
• PAS 2030: 2017
• PAS 2030: 2019
• PAS 2035: 2019 (for park homes, high rise buildings and buildings that are both traditionally constructed and protected)
You must also be certified by a body that has been accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).
To install low carbon heating measures, such as heat pumps, you must be certified with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).