The Committee conducted its online survey between 2nd and 16th November 2020 which was promoted through the Select Committee Engagement Team, to relevant petitioners to the Petitions Committee and through the Committee’s newsletter and social media. It also appeared on the Money Saving Expert Forum. The survey received 510 responses and 414 of those had accessed the grant. Those who had not accessed the grant did not progress through to answer later questions. The survey was conducted prior to the Government announcing the year long extension to the scheme, and we acknowledge that respondents are from a self-selecting pool.
Many experienced delays in hearing back from the scheme:
I’ve been waiting for nearly a month now to hear back whether my application has been accepted or not.
I applied on the day it opened but still haven’t received a single update about my application. My installer is waiting to start but can’t because I need the voucher.
they [the installer] were unable to schedule work until the voucher had been received, this delayed the process.
Homeowners must install primary measures before receiving the same funding towards secondary measures. Respondents told us:
Most of my rental properties are rated D, I am limited in applying for the grant because primary measures are either already done or too expensive.
The secondary measures are much more useful but inaccessible […] as the primary measures are simply too costly.
I have a listed building so cannot install any of the primary measures, but I was unable to find any information on listed buildings and whether we could go straight to secondary measures.
I have already installed all the primary measures with the exception of a ground or air heat source pump. These can cost up to £20,000 and our small cottage has no room for the equipment let alone any garden requirements. So our double glazing requirements (to replace a wooden front door) are negated because there would be no balance of monies left to help with secondary measures.
A number of respondents told us that contractors they had hoped to use were either not aware of the scheme or did not want to sign up to it:
It appears that the scheme was rolled out without contractors being given the opportunity to register themselves with the scheme […] many companies did not know yet if they were eligible.
I know a qualified contractor who still struggles to get into the scheme because it is too complex and unclear making it unachievable.
Many local traders are unaware of the scheme and have therefore not had the time to become certified in the relevant areas to become a TrustMark trader.
Contractors who are registered with the scheme have been inundated with requests for quotes:
The distinct lack of tradesmen in the area is a problem as not many are members of the TrustMark scheme, those that are have therefore been overwhelmed with requests.
I contacted 24 different tradesmen on the website to try to get a quote. Only two came back and one of the quotes runs out next week.
I contacted over 17 TrustMark firms. All of them refused me saying they had either decided not to continue with the scheme, or that they had been overwhelmed by the take up and could not take any more enquiries.