Four industry bodies call on the government to implement a four-point plan to address identified failings of its Green Homes Grant.
The scheme was launched to support the installation of energy efficiency measures in homes across England.
In their joint statement, the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), Solar Energy UK, Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd (REAL) and the Home Insulation and Energy Systems Quality Assured Contractors Scheme (HIES) say until now only 20,000 vouchers have been issued and even fewer payments for completed work have been made.
The associations urge the government to accelerate immediately payments and processing of vouchers to address installers’ cash flow concerns.
They also call for a commitment in the upcoming Budget to use all of the underspent 2020/21 budget in future years through a longer-term programme until the end of this parliament.
A survey of 194 industry members shows one-in-three participants in the scheme admit payment delays are threatening the viability of their business.
A few days ago, the Environmental Audit Committee estimated the government would need more than ten years to reach its Green Homes Grant voucher target of 600,000 households
MCS Chief Executive Ian Rippin said: “Delays to payments are especially damaging and we are calling for consumer incentives like this to be simplified to enable renewable energy businesses to do what they do best, without worrying about their financial health.”
Solar Energy UK chief executive Chris Hewett said: “Payments for completed work must be made without further delay and any unspent funds recommitted in following years. If this government is serious about driving a green economic recovery it has to put its money where its mouth is.”
A BEIS spokesperson said: “Over 24,000 Green Homes Grant vouchers worth over £100 million have already been issued, helping us improve the energy efficiency of homes, and we continue to work with the scheme’s administrator to ensure voucher applications are processed as quickly as possible.
“We take these concerns seriously and to ensure the highest standards of service, ministers have asked the scheme administrator to pay money owed to installers and sort the processing of applications as a matter of urgency.”