The government has scrapped its flagship Green Homes Grant scheme just over six months after its launch. The decision to abandon the £1.5bn programme, the centrepiece of Boris Johnson’s promise to “build back greener” from the Covid-19 pandemic, follows widespread criticism of the scheme, which offered householders grants of up to £10,000 to install insulation and low-carbon heating.
Approved applications for vouchers will be honoured, but the scheme will cease on Wednesday.
The decision leaves the government without a plan for tackling energy use in homes, which is one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions.
Green campaigners said the scrapping of the programme, originally expected to create tens of thousands of jobs, came as a serious blow as the government prepares to host Cop26 in November.
Ed Matthew, campaigns director at the E3G thinktank, said: “The demise of the green homes grant is an embarrassment, and a disaster in terms of the UK getting on track to net zero [carbon emissions]. Emissions from buildings and transport have flatlined over the last 10 years. If we don’t have programmes to tackle this, we have no hope of meeting the net zero target.”