Green grant firms get greedy with job quotes

Homeowners are being hit with inflated quotes for work under the Government’s new Green Homes Grant as tradesmen try to cash in. 

The scheme offers homeowners in England up to £5,000 worth of vouchers (or £10,000 for low-income households) to cover two-thirds of the cost of work to make their properties more energy efficient. 

But customers say they are being charged thousands of pounds more than they were quoted before the initiative launched in September. 

Growth industry: Customers say they are being charged thousands of pounds more than they were quoted before the initiative launched in September

Growth industry: Customers say they are being charged thousands of pounds more than they were quoted before the initiative launched in September

Growth industry: Customers say they are being charged thousands of pounds more than they were quoted before the initiative launched in September

Steven Francis, 43, wants to install an energy-efficient heat pump system in his Cornwall cottage. 

He found a number of estimates online from the Energy Saving Trust and Which? suggesting a new pump system would cost between £6,000 and £8,000 for a typical home. But he has received quotes for more than £11,000. 

‘It just feels as if contractors are using this as an opportunity to hike their prices,’ he says. 

Another homeowner was quoted up to £4,500 for cavity wall insulation, compared to £1,790 in June. 

A Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spokesman says: ‘We have a zero-tolerance approach to fraud, i­ncluding inflating prices. 

‘Fraud cases will undergo due process and an adjudication will be made by the Green Homes Grant Fraud Team, leading to appropriate action against the offending party.’

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