A Yorkshire family that were left without heating and hot water had to leave their home after their government green scheme heat pump was delayed so long the grant expired.
Stefan Clarkson, 46, had applied for a Green Homes Grant voucher earlier this year, and removed his radiators and 20-year-old inefficient boiler from his home in Skelbrooke on the advice of government-approved installers in preparation for the heat pump to be installed.
But Mr Clarkson, who is disabled and has a heart condition, was repeatedly told global supply chain issues meant there were problems installing his new air source heat pump. He has since been left without heating and hot water for four months.
His Green Homes Grant voucher for £10,000 was renewed once, but ultimately expired on 30 November before the heat pump had been installed. Mr Clarkson told the Yorkshire Post that requests for a further extension have so far been rejected by the scheme’s administrators.
Mr Clarkson and his wife, Diane, 49, cannot afford to pay for a new heating system, and they were unable to find any other suppliers to install the heat pump. Along with Mr Clarkson’s stepson and 13-year-old daughter, the family moved out of their home into a friend’s home.
Mr Clarkson said: "The government has totally refused to extend the voucher in any way, shape or form. I feel as though I've been cheated, that through this whole scheme, which is supposed to help you go green and give you a better heating system, I've now I've ended up with nothing.”
What is the Green Homes Grant?
The doomed Green Homes Grant, which available from April through local authority funding but has since been scrapped, was designed to help improve the energy efficiency of the UK’s housing stock.
It offered between £5,000 and £10,000 for homeowners to install low-carbon heating systems such as heat pumps, as well as new insulation.
But the scheme was described as a “slam dunk fail” by the Public Accounts Committee last month. Homeowners reported issues with the application process, administrators were slow to distribute vouchers, and tradespeople were reportedly left out of pocket for completed work.
In response to Mr Clarkson’s case, a Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spokesperson said: “We worked closely with the scheme administrator to encourage as many customers as possible to redeem their vouchers before the scheme closed to support them to get upgrades finished in time.
“While individuals are ultimately responsible for ensuring their green upgrades can be installed on time, there may be some limited and very exceptional cases where the voucher deadline could be extended, and applicants should discuss their case with the scheme administrator.”
Get the Homebuilding & Renovating Newsletter
Bring your dream home to life with expert advice, how to guides and design inspiration. Sign up for our newsletter and get two free tickets to the National Homebuilding & Renovating Show (21-24 March, NEC, Birmingham).
Jack has worked in journalism for 11 years and is the News Editor for Homebuilding & Renovating, a role he has had since 2019. He strives to break the most relevant and beneficial stories for self builders, extenders and renovators, including the latest news on the construction materials shortage and hydrogen heating. In 2021 he appeared on BBC's The World at One to discuss the government's planning reforms.
He enjoys testing new tools and gadgets, and having bought his first home in 2013, he has renovated every room and recently finished a garden renovation.