On 4 August 2020 the Government announced the inclusion of Local Authorities in England within the scope of applicants for the Green Homes Grant.
Under the Local Authority Delivery (LAD) scheme and with their delivery partners, Local Authorities can apply for grant funding to enable energy efficiency and generation measures for low energy performance homes.
The key outcomes of the scheme are tackling fuel poverty, supporting clean growth and economic resilience, and disseminating lessons learned.
The first phase of the scheme provides £200 million funding via this Local Authority competition, with a further £300 million available through Local Energy Hubs in the second phase later in 2020/21.
But Local Authorities will have to act quickly to take advantage of this first phase as the deadline for applications is noon on 1 September 2020.
In June, the Prime Minister launched the Green Homes Grant aimed to help more than 600,000 households in England and Wales implement energy efficiency and low-carbon energy generation measures.
The aims of the grant are to:
- reduce energy bills
- help tackle fuel poverty
- cut carbon emissions
- stimulate new markets, and
- create jobs.
In July, the Chancellor announced £2 billion of funding to be allocated by way of grants available to households for up to two thirds of home improvement costs up to maximum of £5,000. For low income households, grants will be available for 100% of the improvements costs, up to maximum of £10,000.
In parallel with the latest announcements relating to the Green Homes Grant and the Getting Building Fund, the Government also announced that the first tranche of Green Homes Grant funding will be allocated directly to Local Authorities and their delivery partners.
The main points from the published guidance for Local Authorities to be aware of:
- All local authorities in England are eligible to submit a bid
- Each bid should be for a minimum grant of £500k
- The funding is for capital funding distributed under section 31 of Local Government Act 2003. Therefore the guidance states it should be used in line with section 11 of Local Government Act 2003 which means that it should be used for the creation of an asset or the modification or improvement of an existing asset. However, due to the scale of the projects, up to 15% of the funding can be allocated to administrative and ancillary works related to planning and delivery costs
- The funding can be used for previously developed proposals or new proposals that meet the desired outcomes of the scheme
- The funding should be used to target low income households with a combined income of no more than £30,000
- The funding must be used for eligible measures which are energy efficiency and heating measures compatible with the Standard Assessment Procedure that will help improve E, F or G rated homes (e.g. measures listed on the MCS Directory used for domestic RHI product eligibility)
- Successful Local Authority applicants will have to enter a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with BEIS and confirm that their application is State Aid compliant
- In contrast to the wider announcement that households must appoint contractors which have the Trustmark and/or Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), under the LAD scheme only low carbon heat installers must be certified (under MCS or similar scheme), whereas it is not a requirement for contractors installing other measures to be Trustmark registered. However, LAs not using Trustmark installers will need to specify how they will ensure good quality work will be undertaken, the steps taken to ensure consumer protection and consumer redress
- There are Q&A webinars available to interested Local Authorities
- Applications must be submitted by noon on 1 September 2020
- The funding will be allocated to successful projects by the end of September 2020
- The projects must be completed by 31 March 2021.
We can help you
If you require any support in connection with:
- The Green Homes Grant, the Local Authority Delivery scheme, and/or the relevant Memorandum of Understanding
- Local Authority powers and related regulation
- Domestic energy efficiency and generation retrofit schemes
- Public sector grant funding and State Aid