Green Homes Grant “underperformed badly” says PAC report

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The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has said that the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme “underperformed badly”, in its latest report

The BEIS Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme was implemented as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, aiming to support jobs whilst reducing carbon emissions.

However, the recent Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report has said it “underperformed badly”.

The report revealed that only about 47,500 homes were upgraded, out of the 600,000 anticipated, and only a small fraction of jobs were awarded.

52% of homeowners’ voucher applications were rejected or withdrawn, 46% of installer applications failed and its abrupt closure may have led to redundancies.

BEIS has not ‘fully acknowledged the scale of its failures’

The project accounted for just £314 million of its original £1.5 billion budget, £50 million of which was put towards administration costs.

PAC also said it is “not convinced that BEIS has fully acknowledged the scale of its failures with this scheme”.

The 12-week timescale to implement it was labelled unrealistic and BEIS’ own Projects and Investment Committee rejected its business case. However, BEIS decided to proceed with it despite this.

‘Rushed through Green Homes Grant scheme’

Dame Meg Hillier MP, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee said: “It cost the taxpayer £50 million just to administer the pointlessly rushed through Green Homes Grant scheme, which delivered a small fraction of its objectives, either in environmental benefits or the promised new jobs.

“We heard it can take 48 months – 4 years – to train the specialists required to implement key parts of a scheme that was dreamed up to be rolled out in 12 weeks. It was never going to work at this time, in this way, and that should have been blindingly obvious to the Department. That it was not is a serious worry. I am afraid there is no escaping the conclusion that this scheme was a slam dunk fail.

“We will need this massive, step change in the way our homes and public buildings are heated, but the way this was devised and run was just a terrible waste of money and opportunity at a time when we can least afford it.”

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