The UK government is urging tradespeople to sign up to receive government-backed accreditation to be able to provide their services as part of the new £2bn ($2.6bn) Green Homes grant.
Builders, plumbers, and other tradespeople across England must register for a TrustMark or Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accreditation to take part in the scheme, to ensure high standards and consumer protection.
The government aims for the grants to support over 100,000 jobs in green construction.
The grant, which was announced by chancellor Rishi Sunak in July’s budget will be available from September and will see the government cover at least two-thirds of the cost of energy-saving home improvements for over 600,000 homes.
The average UK household can apply for up to £5,000, while those on low income can receive vouchers covering 100% of the cost of the improvements, up to a maximum of £10,000. The government is earmarking £500m to support low income, fuel poor households, including those living in rented accommodation.
The grant will cover green home improvements such as insulation of walls, floors and roofs and the installation of low-carbon heating, like heat pumps or solar thermal.
The measures could help families save up to £600 a year on their energy bills, according to the government.
Under the programme, people will be able to access advice on making their homes greener from the Simple Energy Advice service, which will suggest home improvements for which they could apply for vouchers for support, and approved tradespeople in their area.
Vouchers will be issued for solid wall, under-floor, cavity or roof insulation, air or ground source heat pumps, and solar thermal systems, replacing single glazing with double or triple glazing, heating controls and upgrading to energy efficient doors.
It is part of a wider “green” recovery plan that will also see £1bn go towards making public buildings, such as schools and hospitals, more energy efficient.
Heating buildings accounts for almost a fifth of UK greenhouse gas emissions, according to the government.
Business and energy secretary Alok Sharma said: “Green home improvements will save people money on their energy bills, help to cut carbon emissions, and create new work for many thousands of builders, plumbers and other tradespeople.
“Our TrustMark scheme will guarantee that building work is completed to a high standard by accredited tradespeople, ensuring consumers are fully protected.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “The Green Homes grant is a vital part of our plan for jobs as we secure the UK’s economic recovery from coronavirus. This is going to be a green recovery with concern for our environment at its heart.
“It will help to protect and create jobs, while also saving people money and cutting carbon.”
Research suggests 51% of homeowners are planning to apply for the scheme, while another 26% are seriously considering it, according to a MoneySuperMarket survey of 2,000 people.