Accessing funding for energy saving measures - Green Homes Grant

It does sound that way Sian … doesn’t seem quite fair does it!
Here they offered to throw in loft insulation on the same ticket as UFI … Is there some small secondary measure that you could have done at the same time? So getting you a bit more value out of the scheme.
On one level my place shouldn’t even be considered for an ASHP as it’s so poorly insulated at this time, but then we know these schemes are thrown together with little forward thinking :frowning:
Fingers crossed for us all.

Hello @Tom_Shephard @Ann_Kolodziejski and @sianrichards55 @mattfranklin @jonathan
I have just got off the phone from Ian - a very nice man coming to do my heat pump survey this Wednesday morning, despite acknowledging that all the pre war properties he visits without insulation or cavities will not be able to get a heat pump. He said despite this he at least gets paid for the survey!! OUR GOVERNMENT FUNDING BEING WASTED ON SURVEYS THAT AMOUNT TO NOTHING ??? It is disgraceful.
Ian also acknowledged that fully insulated homes would most likely be pushed up to an EPC of C - homes with an EPC rating of C aren’t eligible for the grant. Householders are being set up to fail in decarbonizing. What is the use of having all this insulation if you can’t move away from fossil fuel with a heat pump?
It stinks and it’s making my blood boil.
Furthermore, how much of tax payers money is being spent on payouts for badly fitted solar, tariffs that didn’t pay out, cavity wall insulation causing damp, diesel car compensation - soon to be damp joists from badly fitted underfloor insulation with no ventilation?? Where does this end??

We have been taking a fabric first approach - sorted out the loft insulation ourselves, know we are capable of fitting our own underfloor insulation when we’re ready, we’re paying for triple glazed windows ourselves because the double glazing is faulty, brittle and seriously failing - they won’t replace that on the grant scheme.
The whole thing seems rig towards making us fail…but what can we do. I feel like I’m shouting about this in a soundproof box.
I have wrote to Andy Burnham and to my local MP and the Green Party .
I can’t help but feel our messages don’t get through.
Sorry you’re all going through this shambles too … X Carla

Their approach does seem bizarre. In my case, I finally got round to chasing EON up about the lack of communication. Turns out that my EPC wasn’t ‘processed’ and hence no action was initiated. They have promised to chase this up but I don’t think it will allow me to do the measure that I need, which is EWI (I don’t meet their criteria).

Thank you for your frank report Carla, even if it makes depressing reading for us all.
Thank you also for making these politicians aware of the debacle.
I think that I should now go for EWI as there is no way I’ll get an ASHP unless I can uprate most of the insulation prior to the technical assessment.
It makes one wonder what the point of the first assessor’s visit was if, at that stage, no one is being made aware of the requirements for success - of course, logically an ASHP should not be installed in a badly insulated building, but then why is it even being touted!
If it’s okay I might annonimously relay some of your experience back to Eon via my email correspondence with the hope that I can avoid a similar ‘trap’. From the beginning I have felt that installing EWI to the rear of the property would be enough, as the mid-terrace house is south facing and EWI would look awful on the relatively small area of brick frontage here anyway (the terrace is ‘tunnel backed’, so larger amounts of surface area would gain from being insulated). But the first assessor said that it was done on a whole-house basis or not at all!
Now I wish I’d stayed pushing for the initial scheme, where I could at least attempt to find the contractors and agree costs myself! It’s all a bad joke.

Hi @Tom_Shephard ,
apologies for the depressing reading - born of swimming around in the same pond!!
At the least I’m hoping our feed back will help the cause for householders trying to decarbonize.
Please feel free to quote me to Eon Tom.

I have actually started to wonder what kind of decarbonized heat will be available to homes who cannot fully insulate.
Plus, aren’t ASHP sized according to heat loss ? I wonder …
I need a plan B myself. Might look at internal wall insulation.

Fingers crossed for us all that we can actually get something off the Green Grant towards decarbonizing our homes Still not holding my breath though!! This current trend is very disheartening and concerning.
The heat pump man is coming tomorrow - watch this space!! :joy: :joy: :grimacing:

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Hi Everyone,
as promised my feedback from the heat pump installer doing the survey on the house this morning.
He confirmed he knows from my current EPC he won’t be able to fit an air source heat pump on the grant.
Not having wall insulation or underfloor insulation disqualifies us. He knew that from looking at the EPC details, but has still been sent out with another guy to survey the house. Two people being paid for a pointless survey - grant funding being wasted. he said he’d been to 9 other houses in the same situation.
In short we have to insulate if we want a heat pump - so we discussed internal wall insulation with him: thinking we could have internal insulation on the exterior facing walls , but apparently that could be about to change in favor of insulating ALL the internal walls in all rooms to qualify for internal wall insulation on future grants.

Todays conclusion is that I now have lots of questions about solid brick Victorian properties and the need to maintain ventilation and best practice for fitting internal wall insulation.
My biggest question being about the need and viability to have lots of internal insulation room envelopes - versus - one big whole house internal envelope of insulation achieved by insulating the external facing walls only. A few things spring to mind - disruption, shrinking rooms , cost and roll out.

So it’s back to the drawing board for our house - our first action from today is to ensure the windows we’re about to purchase have frames wide enough to accommodate internal insulation.
Being mindful of continuing to reduce our carbon footprint , our next actions are to invest in very thick curtains and a draught proof layer for under the carpet and some good underlay.
As well as having jumpers and cardigans at the ready so we’re less likely to turn up the heating.
We’re going to look up the internal wall insulation and see where that takes us.
As for underfloor insulation - more and more I am wondering about insulating on top of the floorboards and how effective this is by comparison to insulating underneath them.

Overall, despite not having procured anything through the grant scheme yet , we feel we have a lot of really valuable insight into the best way forward in our homes retrofit.
One thing has remained certain - fabric is definitely first and my new topic for conversation on here will be about internal wall insulation!!

As for realizing the politics in all this grant scheme roll out - I need to steer away from them because politics brings out the worst in me!! :grimacing:
I’m heat pumped over and out :joy:

All the best

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Hi,
If you are considering the floor insulation you have to do the skirting boards- This is where you have the greatest cold air infiltration. IR camera is a good tool for showing up issues

Hi Lloyd ,
Thanks for this. The quandary for us with regard to fitting suspended underfloor insulation is in knowing the pointing on the subfloor foundations is starting to get crumbly - we know we can’t really ignore this or how awkward it is to get to that pointing - we’ll have to remove the joists to do the work. It’s just all round awkward right now.

I think the problems we’re unearthing and understanding about our home are typical of how certain retrofit measures can become off-putting or problematic because the unearth and can create other problems.

  • Suspended underfloor insulation - damp joists, damp course failing, no ventilation, mould growth, foundations need attention, floorboards are damaged when removing to fit insulation…

  • Internal Wall Insulation - pipes need moving, window reveals not wide enough, grants only allow certain types of insulation - eg PIR board.

*External wall - house loses character and ventilation, huge expense.

I realize I could go on and on - but overall it’s this for us, as we seek to insulate we unearth problems, know we can create problems and budgets get blown wide open.

Currently with our budget, we are focused on what we can do ourselves alongside a big measure - our windows .
Also, we’re going to insulate the floor from above in the back room - this will be a draught layer, some good thick underlay and a wool carpet which we can easily remove when we are ready to do the pointing of the foundations and replace the damp course.
Fabric is indeed, as ever proving to be first!!

It’s also the reason we don’t feel we can procur Solar Panels yet - we need to ensure our roof is suitable - it needs a bit of work first.

Overall, I think everything here just reflects retrofit considerations and the quandaries people find themselves in while trying to achieve it.
Indeed for us, we’re starting to see how less can also be more in retrofit to decarbonize homes - the realization that so much can tip the scales .

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Was just wondering if you got anything useful back from any of these parties so far?

I am just about to pop off the following response to Eon but thought it might be worth checking back here for any final advice first:
//
Apologies for delay in responding.

Ideally I would like to request that my property be assessed for an ASHP. However, based on things I’ve learnt recently from others attempting to sign up for this grant in Manchester, it sounds likely that I’d only be setting myself up to fail.
(due to the catch-22 of having a property with EPC standards low enough to initially qualify for the scheme, against the diktat that once accepted, the house must be well insulated to justify the installation of a heat pump).

As such, I suggest that we proceed with the EWI.
That is unless you can suggest another more balanced course of action?

Regards, Tom //
(what I haven’t mentioned is that the idea of sticking EWI to the front of my south-facing mid-terrace home is a no go as far as I’m concerned, so if this does go ahead I am going ensure they start on the back first, then refuse to let them continue onto the front)

Thanks for any further thoughs :slight_smile:

Hi Everyone,
I’ve just had a rather interesting conversation with the heat pump installer for Eon.
He phoned me to ask if I had heard from them - which I haven’t.
He went on to say that the 10 houses he surveyed including mine were in a similar situation - no wall insulation and he’d just had a meeting to discuss this with Eon.
Feedback from that meeting was to offer homes like ours Hybrid Heat Pumps - meaning we would have a heat pump unit outside and a new compatible condenser boiler that housed a buffer vessel for the water - a large water storage tank isn’t needed with a hybrid. The model being used will be the Daikin Hybrid
https://www.daikin.co.uk/en_gb/product-group/hybrid-heat-pump.html
Apparently its 70% efficient and more compatible for homes without insulation? I didn’t fully understand that except that during colder spells it will switch to gas. This doesn’t sit well with me - it’s still fossil fuel. He asked me to consider it anyway - to do my homework!!
He also mentioned microwave boilers as the next big thing for hot water and heating.
I wonder about microwaves and exposure - also I wondered at how frequently microwaves can break and stop heating?
Overall, I wonder how sustainable all of the above will be by comparison.

Personally, I am glad that the heat pump installation failed - I am learning so much on this journey and I’m coming round to heating the person rather than the space - certainly not heating whole house anyway!!
Additionally, I can continue to decarbonise in smaller steps - get an electric shower, change my gas cooker, use the gas heating less by warming ourselves, insulating the floor from above with sheepwool underlay and carpet, having the windows fitted and continuing with our draught proofing - while retaining a breathable home via the materials we choose.
Looking at our options for heat pumps and wall insulation I haven’t done the maths for the embodied carbon, but when you consider the disruption for insulation, waste , embodied carbon in the insulation and other materials, the installation of the heat pump and piping etc, not to mention the AA* boiler I would have to throw out to accommodate the new condenser boiler … it feels like a massive carbon budget as well as the cost, waste and disruption.
On top of all this, it feels like too much of a gamble at the moment - seeming in it’s infancy and modelled on people wanting to heat whole houses and measuring expectations for comfort above needs.

Plus, not everyone is tech minded enough to be finitely measuring and monitoring with gadgets to achieve best energy performance.

I wonder what your thoughts might be on this development and if you have had a similar experience.

Best Wishes
Carla

I’ve heard nothing more from Eon. But I’ve had a very odd letter in the post from a non-profit ‘Energy Funding Service ECO Government Funding Scheme’ with a registered office in Rochdale. They set up in May this year. The letter starts
"Important Update: Free Government Grant
Our energy records indicate that your property meets the criteria for free funding."

It isn’t addressed to me, just to my postal address, so I’m guessing they’re trawling through EPC certificates to generate business. Their website is https://www.fundingservice.org.uk/.
Has anyone else had a letter like it in the post?

I would like to share my experience with obtaining a grant from the Greater Manchester Green Homes Grant scheme to fit an air source heat pump. This is my experience so farm - I will update it as things (hopefully) progress.

Last month I arranged a new EPC which gave the house a D (57) rating. This was narrowly within the eligibility criteria for heat pumps – it has to be D or below to qualify. The house has internal wall insulation, triple glazing etc and there wasn’t any more fundamental work to do. In relation to the scheme, I didn’t understand why a house with a better rating wouldn’t be eligible for a heat pump as it would be more suitable; a point that has been raised earlier.

Eon sent an assessor the day after I applied by phone – 21 September – very impressive as they suggested that it might take two weeks to arrange. The assessor seemed to be working to a regular version of SAP rather than the reduced version that is used for the EPC. The visit lasted about 2 hours and wasn’t smooth. He also showed a lack of knowledge of ventilation systems – I had to explain the fitted MVHR system several times. I had not expected such as lengthy process as the EPC was completed this month but he explained that for the grant it was necessary to go into more detail.

I hadn’t noticed in examining the small print of the scheme that solar PV might also be eligible. The assessor also picked up the lack of insulation in the solid basement floor (an inhabited and heated room) which was not highlighted in the EPC. I have yet to receive the response from the scheme but hopefully it will give me options. I am wary of the quality of the solutions that I likely to be offered, especially the heat pump as this will have a direct effect on the running cost of the system. At the moment I am leaning to the solar PV as this could be fully funded, and undertaking the installation of the heat pump with the RHI incentives which would pay for a substantial part of the work over seven years. There is no longer a similar system for Solar PV. I am doubtful whether the scheme would allow funding of the insulation of the basement floor.

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Thanks for sharing your experience so far Julian. We will be interested to hear how things progress. As you can see from this thread it has been a bit of a mixed bag so far, but there is still a possibility that people will be able to access some positive measures. Please keep us updated with how you get on!

Here is our experience so far in back and forth emails with EON / GMCA LADS rollout … :roll_eyes:

Email 1…

Hello,

Following your survey I can confirm we can go ahead with the Air Source heat pump. You are elligible for the under floor insulation too however due to the costing of the Heat pump you would not be able to have both and the Under floor insulation costs substancially less and is nowhere near as efficient as the Heat pump in terms of energy savings. You will receive some terms and conditions via email which I need to be accepted to progresss your assessment to the next stage. Following the acceptance of these I will pass your application to our technical surveyors who will be in touch within 7-10 days to obtain a quote for us and do a more in depth survey.

Thank you for your patience and co-operation.

Kind Regards

Joshua Davis

Project Administrator

Green Home Grants Team

GMCA Scheme
Commercial Services

T: 0333 202 4820

Email 2 …

Hi Joshua,
I very much look forward to receiving the terms and conditions for the heat pump and already understand that I can’t have both measures, having already received pretty much the same email about 6 weeks ago.
This also said I’d be contacted by a heat pump technical surveyor within in 7-10 days.

Your time is very much appreciated, but the 7-10 days wait time that has turned into 6weeks isn’t.

Eon aren’t doing very well with these next stage wait communications. They need to be more realistic with customers about wit times - please could you feed this back.

Kind regards
Carla Smith

Email 3 …

Hi Joshua,

following on from our visit with the heat pump engineer - Ian - who visited our house last month, we have been told that owing to NOT having wall insulation we are NOT eligible for a heat pump.

After some thinking and research we would like to be assessed for the internal wall insulation suggested at the beginning - to prepare us for a fully decarbonised heat pump.

We do not wish to have a hybrid gas / air source heat pump which was suggested by the heat pump engineer.as another approach via Eon and the LADS grant.

We know a fabric first approach is the best way forward , so please could you arrange an insulation installer to come and look at our property .

Many thanks

Carla Smith

Email 4 …

Hello

Unfortunately your walls are not suitable for the insulation as per the initial survey which took place on 03/06/2021. The survey confirmed you are eligible for the air source heat pump and under floor insulation.
If you would like to go ahead with the under floor insulation then we can get this arranged for you however if you are unable to progress forward with the Air Source Heat pump or under floor insulation then you would not be eligible for anything on the green homes grant I am afraid.
In terms of the heat pump it usually means that without the wall insulation the heat pump would not be beneficial for the property and therefore we suggest a hybrid alternative. If you do not wish to progress with this we can only offer you the under floor insulation.

Email 5 …

You have mentioned that my walls are not suitable for wall insulation.
This is very concerning for us I am now . We are wondering what is wrong with the walls for you to make such a broad statement about them and not give any reasons.

Please can you be more specific?
Can you send me a copy of the report that says why my walls are not suitable for insulation?

We know we cannot have cavity wall insulation - our walls don’t have a cavity - we haven’t asked for cavity wall insulation.
However, as far as we a are ware there is nothing that prevents us from having internal wall insulation or external wall insulation - please explain.

Furthermore, Eon , like other energy companies has been partnered with local authorities and funded by the government to help householders move away from fossil fuel and prevent those in need slipping into fuel poverty.
You are saying that my house is not suitable to insulate and I would like to know why.

Your current system is looking to be a tick box exercise that isn’t really interested in helping householders or the planet.
With what we already understand about wall insulation , we are questioning the qualifications of your retrofit surveyors.
How is the ‘surveyor’ who visited our home on 3rd June 2021 qualified to say the walls of our house aren’t suitable for internal or external wall insulation?

In conclusion , we feel strongly that the system for insulating homes is failing and we wish to escalate a complaint to the relevant body… Please could you advise who we should speak with to raise this.

Thankyou
Carla Smith

Further to all of this back and forth with Eon , we are increasingly concerned about how homes are being qualified for measures through the grant scheme.
During the initial Eon survey in June where we applied for a ASHP on the basis we would prefer to insulate ourselves, our energy efficiency certification was increased from an E to a D yet we have failing double glazing and no wall insulation.
Like so many of us realizing EPC calculations don’t make any sense, I am further convinced of this when I hear about the comparable retrofit measures of your house to our house @Julian_Tomlin. that they measured your home to be a D ???
It’s becoming clear this roll out of the LADS scheme seriously and worryingly failing our attempts to reduce carbon in homes through these grants.
Additionally, I really worry for people who don’t have a clue about retrofit or in financial difficulty and will be at high risk of fuel poverty or having defective or ineffective retrofit installations.

Signs are not good and the driving reason for my pursuing the LADS grant is now to get them to work towards getting it right for householders wanting to decarbonize.
Currently, I feel like they want me off the list because I’m not ignorant enough to let them do what they want without question.

Sending best wishes to you all in the meantime and hoping that we can continue to make a difference in the sharing of our efforts here.

Carla

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I’m yet to experience a positive measure Matt. I don’t think they like me … :grimacing: :sweat_smile:

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Hi Carla - if its of any help or consequence, the EPC I have done on our cottage stated that the walls “could” have cavity insulation, but every builder who’s looked at them told me that’s not possible. If I was to go down the ASHP route, I’d need to get a report from a expert to state thatt the walls can’t have cavity insulation installed. For a number of reasons I’m not persuing this, but it is very disjointed and frustrating!!!

Not had anything through the post Sian
I did get a reply off Eon though.
Basically it’s a no to the ASHP, because I don’t have wall insulation,. So they offered us a hybrid heat pump which is expensive to run, so I declined and told them I will have internal wall insulation then. They have announced my walls aren’t suitable so I can’t have it.
I have no clue what makes my walls unsuitable for insulation. They also said I’m not eligible for anything now - I don’t think they like me.
As well as getting really hacked off with them ,I’m intrigued to hear what they say next. :roll_eyes::sweat_smile:

Carla x