Poll shows demand for Green Homes Grant set to outstrip supply

Polling reveals that more than half of home owners in England are interested in Government’s Green Homes Grant.

By George Smeeton


Information on this page correct as of:

New polling today reveals that more than half of home owners in England (62%) are interested in the Government’s Green Homes Grant, meaning that demand for the scheme could hugely outstrip the funds available.

The grant, which first becomes available on 30th September, is expected to make 600,000 vouchers for energy efficiency improvements to homes available, for which Government has set aside a budget of £2 billion. The vouchers are worth up to £5,000 for a variety of energy efficiency and heating measures, such as insulation and double glazing, increasing to £10,000 for fuel poor homes.

Polling conducted by YouGov commissioned by the Energy and Climate Intelligence amongst adults in England aged 18+ found:

  • Of the total respondents (home owners and renters alike), a quarter (25%) are ‘very interested’ in the grant. If only the ‘very interested’ participants take advantage of the scheme, that totals 6 million households, which is 10 times over what is currently on offer.
  • 66% of those who own homes considered to have poor energy efficiency are very or fairly interested in the grant. This means that they currently have two or fewer of the measures available as part of the grant so could benefit largely.
  • More than half of respondents owning or renting homes with poor energy efficiency (54%) had not yet heard of the grant.

As well as having benefits for the consumer, such as saving money on energy bills and ensuring heat is better retained in the winter, the grant also brings nationwide jobs potential. Previous analysis from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit highlighted that a significant number of jobs could be created through support for energy efficiency in parts of the country where unemployment was highest, and homes standards the lowest.

Commenting on the polling results, Jess Ralston, Analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said:

“With England’s housing stock in such a bad way – over half (52%) are below the Government’s EPC band C target – there’s lots of work to be done, so it’s not surprising the Green Homes Grant looks to be popular amongst the public. This can only be good news for consumers and traders alike as bills will be reduced and jobs created all over the country, whilst also benefitting the environment by reducing carbon emissions: installing energy efficiency and low carbon heating really is a win-win scenario, and hopefully something that will continue.”

Peter Smith, Director of Policy and Research at the fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA) estimates during the winter, the number of needless deaths due to cold homes are approximately 10,000 per year across the UK. He said:

“Millions of people across the UK face winter in properties which are dangerous or unfit for colder seasons. Just in England, one in ten households live in fuel poverty, meaning they live below the poverty line but also have much higher bills due to poor levels of energy efficiency. During cold spells, poor housing can lead to sharp rises in energy use, needless lives lost and avoidable stress to our highly stretched health services.

“The UK Government’s recent investment to improve the energy efficiency of our leaky housing is hugely welcome. Our recent polling also demonstrates strong public support for fixing Britain’s homes with three in four people supporting the UK Government urgently investing further resources. Two thirds also support the local jobs this could create. This additional investment will be vital to ensure the momentum of the new Green Home Grant is sustained and we continue to improve the UK’s building stock otherwise it will remain notoriously inefficient”

Derek Horrocks, chair of the National Insulation Association (NIA) said:

“The Green Homes Grant scheme is a much-needed intervention for the insulation industry and the indicated interest from homeowners is testament to that. It is a lifeline for many small energy efficiency and construction businesses, including members of the National Insulation Association, and should create huge job opportunities. Many are hopeful that this will be the start of further intervention in the future.

“Businesses all over England will benefit, particularly in the context of economic uncertainty when people are less likely or perhaps more reluctant to have work done on their homes. Further commitment to a grant system like this will provide businesses with the financial confidence to further invest in upskilling new and existing employees and will get them ready to meet the evidently high demand for energy efficiency measures from households in every region. Industry will also be taking all necessary precautions to keep people safe at this testing time, and an extension to the scheme will be helpful in this respect. We should treat this as a pilot scheme for longer term spend on energy efficiency: if take up goes as well as hoped, this could be the start of something huge.”

[All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,400 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 4th - 6th September 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all adults in England (aged 18+)]