Robin Francis, Managing Director at National Ventilation, explains how the Green Homes Grant and good ventilation go hand in hand, how wholesalers can help and why ventilation is so important.
Launched in September 2020, the aim of the Green Homes Grant is to help boost the uptake of energy saving home improvements. This will be important for helping reach the goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. So how can wholesalers get involved?
There have been a number of changes to the scheme since its launch, so wholesalers are well positioned to keep installers up to date with the scheme. In addition, the Green Homes Compliance Scheme signposts suitable products, so wholesalers can be sure what to stock and suggest to electricians working on projects with a Grant.
Grant vouchers can be used to cover up to two-thirds of the cost of works up to £5,000 or up to £10,000 for low-income households. The work must include at least one primary measure such as improved insulation or low carbon heating. Then a secondary measure can be added such as triple glazing, draught proofing, heating controls and, importantly, improving or repairing controlled ventilation under ‘reasonable enabling work to support the retrofit’.
The original deadline for improvements was March 2021 but this has now been extended to March 2022. Another change is that electricians who want to undertake work under the Grant no longer need to be registered with TrustMark, making the scheme accessible to all installers. However, work must still be carried out in accordance with Publicly Available Specification Standards (PAS 2030).
The important role of ventilation
When making energy efficiency improvements under the scheme (or at any other point), ventilation should not be overlooked. When a home is made more airtight to improve energy efficiency it can no longer ‘breathe’ to allow polluted and stale air to escape the house. This will result in poor indoor air quality (IAQ), condensation and mould if ventilation is not improved at the same time to extract polluted, moist air.
The essential role of ventilation in a healthy home has thankfully been recognised by the Government as part of this scheme. Therefore, wholesalers’ customers will be keen to get involved and ensure effective ventilation is installed in households taking advantage of a Grant. This is also in-line with Building Regulations where a home’s IAQ must not be made worse by adding energy efficiency measures under the scheme.
When installers visit a wholesaler for advice on a cost-effective route to compliance within the scheme, a good recommendation is to install intermittent extract fans of the right size in ‘wet’ rooms. It’s also important to ensure fresh air enters the building through background ventilators without causing draughts.
To make things simple for wholesalers the Green Homes Compliance Scheme has been launched. This provides guidance on how to ensure sufficient ventilation in a home when air tightness has been improved. It also has the added benefit of helping wholesalers easily identify suitable products to stock and supply, from companies like National Ventilation. These accredited products carry the Green Homes Compliance badge which demonstrates that fans will meet Building Regulations requirements and deliver effective ventilation. This also gives extra peace of mind for wholesalers and installers alike that legal requirements have been met.
When recommending a fan for a project, it’s vital that it will extract air at a sufficient rate when installed to remove polluted air whilst overcoming any resistance to air-flow from ducts or grilles etc. But what else is there to consider?
Installers will be keen to use fans that offer ease of installation, reliability, effectiveness, quiet operation and that can also be installed safely in the splash zone, making fans with these features ideal to stock. For example, National Ventilation’s Monsoon Zone 1 Silence range provides high extraction rates with low energy use, a low SFP, and exceptionally quiet running levels of just 22dB(A). It can also be safely installed in Zone 1, has two speeds and a range of control options. Plus, install is easy thanks to a larger terminal block, making wiring easier and a unique spirit level bubble.
Another good option is an in-line mixed flow fan which can be used for exhaust and supply ventilation for rooms with high humidity, such as bathrooms and kitchens that require high pressure and powerful airflow. For example, National Ventilation’s UMD range of domestic mixed flow fans combine high performance of up to 198m3/h with power consumption as low as 17-19W and low noise levels of just 28dB(A) on low speed. The fans are also IPX4 rated and feature a two-speed motor equipped with Standard Thermal Overload Protection for extra safety.
The Green Homes Grant scheme not only aims to help the UK on the road to zero carbon but opens up a new line of supply for wholesalers. And with the Compliance Scheme providing information and a list of complaint products, it’s easy for wholesalers to choose the best ventilation products to stock.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
To find out more about the Green Homes Grant and the Green Homes Compliance scheme visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-the-green-homes-grant-scheme