Less than 150 green house grants issued in Bedford Bedford News

Fewer than 150 vouchers for a government energy saving program were issued to residents of Bedford before it was scrapped, figures show.

The TUC union said the green home grant – which has helped less than 10 percent of the homes it was targeting nationwide – was a missed opportunity to create thousands of jobs and make homes better. respectful of the environment.

Launched in September, the flagship policy was designed to help homeowners install energy efficient upgrades with vouchers of up to £ 5,000, or £ 10,000 for those on low incomes.

Bedford residents requested 377 vouchers as the program was phased out at the end of March - and of these, 145 have been issued
Bedford residents requested 377 vouchers as the program was phased out at the end of March – and of these, 145 have been issued

Figures from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy show residents of Bedford requested 377 vouchers when the program was terminated at the end of March.

Of these, 145 (38%) were issued – including 86 to low-income households.

As part of the scheme, £ 1.5bn was made available across England for 600,000 vouchers to fund measures such as low-carbon insulation and heating in hundreds of homes. thousands of houses.

However, BEIS said only 49,000 vouchers – worth £ 208million – had been issued on April 19.

Figures show that two-thirds of voucher applications have been rejected or are still awaiting a decision at the end of March.

It was scheduled to last until March 2022 before being scrapped last month, with business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng admitting requests were not being processed quickly enough.

The chairman of the environmental audit committee, Philip Dunne, MP, has warned that dropping the program is a “bad example” of climate leadership and must be replaced with an improved program.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The Green Home Grant has been an opportunity to create thousands of decent jobs by making our homes warmer and greener.

“But at the current rate, it will take two centuries to reach all English homes.”

Ms. O’Grady wants the government to give councils the resources to create more jobs and renovate homes to make them more environmentally friendly.

By the end of March, around 10,300 energy efficiency measures had been installed across England, including 35 in Bedford.

The most popular of these in the east of England was attic insulation, which has been installed 505 times.

Price comparison website Uswitch said it was essential that households were always encouraged to make changes that reduce heat loss.

Justina Miltienyte, policy expert at the company, said: “Without improving energy efficiency at home, we will not be able to reduce carbon emissions in line with the government’s new targets.

“It is unfortunate that a flagship green policy has not had the impact it could have had, and there are lessons to be learned in the administration of such programs.”

A BEIS spokeswoman said an additional £ 300million had been allocated to local authorities for the green house program.

She added: “All requests received by March 31 will be processed, which means installations will continue over the next few months, supporting jobs and ensuring homes are energy efficient.”

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This notice was published: 2021-04-28 12:00:28