Out with the old and in with the new (saving the government just over £1 billion)

Barry White (sourced from Byline Times)

Just days before COP 26 opened in Glasgow, Chancellor Rishi Sunak quietly cut hundreds of millions of pounds of Treasury investment helping households to become more environmentally friendly. Some £1.5 billion was put aside by the Treasury last year for an ambitious programme to subsidise the insulation of 600,000 homes under the ‘Green Grant’ scheme. But, as the National Audit Office revealed in September https://www.nao.org.uk/report/green-homes-grant/ the scheme collapsed after the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) contracted out the administration of the vouchers (worth up to £10,000 for low income families) to a US company, ICF, a US global consulting and technology company.

After ICF’s state of the art digital vouchers system failed, the scheme had to be administered by hand – pushing up the costs to £1,000 for each £5,000 grant. There were numerous complaints from customers, and from contractors undertaking the work. As a result, BEIS only spent £314 million of the Treasury’s money and only 47,500 homes benefitted – saving the Treasury just less than £1.2 billion. The company that recently installed my solar panels took part in the scheme and confirm it was a complete failure!

There was quite a media fanfare when the Government recently announced a new scheme to deliver heat pump grants worth £5,000 to households wanting to replace gas boilers. Electric heat pumps, which look like air conditioning units, extract warmth from outdoor sources such as air, ground or water and concentrate and transfer the heat into the home (unless of course there is a power cut).

But the Treasury is only spending £450 million on the new three year scheme, starting next April, offering £5,000 grants to install both ground and air heat pumps. This is equivalent to one-third of the cost of the original Green Grant scheme and is expected to apply to 90,000 homes. Details at: https://www.greenmatch.co.uk/blog/clean-heat-grant

Sources:  https://bylinetimes.com/2021/10/27/government-quietly-cuts-commitment-to-green-grants/ and: https://bylinetimes.com/2021/10/20/the-uk-lags-behind-europe-on-installing-low-carbon-heat-pumps/

Photo: Which?

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