There are reports that the government’s Green Homes voucher scheme might come to an end in March, less than a year after its launch. 
 
While there have been almost 70,000 applications for vouchers, by the end of January only 21,000 vouchers had been issued and less than 3,000 installations had been completed. 
 
Industry experts are arguing that options available for homeowners, such as heat pumps, don’t meet the needs of many families. 
grass roof hobbit-style house with round door

Alternatives to existing Green Homes measures 

Implementing a single high value home improvement could be less beneficial than more straightforward measures like double glazing or draught-proofing. There are now arguments for a mix of technologies, including options such as liquid petroleum gas (LPG) for rural homes and small businesses, which could play a valuable role in reducing carbon emissions. 
 
As part of its commitment to a post-coronavirus green recovery the government is still expected to make £320 million available in the next financial year to improve energy efficiency for homes and public buildings. 
 
In the meantime, the challenges of implementing the current scheme will need to be reviewed. 
 
Cutting VAT on domestic energy efficiency improvements and low carbon heating technology could make these options more affordable for homeowners. It could also provide longer-term security for small businesses taking on new employees to deliver energy efficiency projects. 
 
As we look forward to coronavirus restrictions being reduced, an ambitious environmental programme to improve our housing stock could make a big difference. 
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