U.K.’s $4 Billion Green Homes Cash Granted to Just 267 Takers

Amid the fanfare of Boris Johnson’s green industrial 10-point plan on Wednesday was a tacit admission that some climate friendly policies are harder to roll out than others.

The government extended by a year its 3 billion pounds ($4 billion) Green Homes Grant as government officials struggle to work through tens of thousands of applications piling up.

Two months after the program started, the government has only issued 267 vouchers, according to a spokesman for the prime minister’s office in London. Officials in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy are working through the 42,000 applications that they’ve received.

“To meet the significant and welcome demand from the public, that means the government needs to speed up the issuing of vouchers urgently,” said Lucy Symonds-Jones, a spokeswoman for the Association for Decentralized Energy, which represents home insulation companies.

Sealing up drafty homes is part of the U.K.’s effort to meet a goal of net-zero carbon emissions while helping the economy recovery from the pandemic. The Green Homes Grant began in September, promising homeowners as much as 5,000 pounds for work such as fitting insulation. Those on low incomes can get as much as 10,000 pounds. It had been due to end in March next year, but slow progress means its now been extended to March 2022.

It’s the second time the government has struggled to make a success of a domestic home insulation program. In 2015 ministers abandoned the Green Deal, which attached the cost of loan repayments onto a property after low take up.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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