Green Homes Grant: correspondence procedure | #scams | #elderlyscams
Types of correspondence
We at the Green Homes Grant Scheme (GHGS) are fully committed to ensuring your successful participation in the scheme. We want you to get your questions answered and hear your feedback so we can make the experience better for you and others.
We take all feedback seriously and we are committed to listening to your views to help us continually improve:
- enquiries and feedback – where you are seeking guidance, general information, an update, or where you would like to share positive or negative experiences
- complaints – if you are dissatisfied with a GHGS service provision or process and would like to raise a grievance
- appeals – where GHGS declines your application for a voucher and you want to challenge the decision
- formal requests – where you are seeking information related to the scheme or your application
Due to COVID-19 restrictions please do not send letters. If you do send a letter, we cannot complete your requests or answer your questions in the timescales set out. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes.
Enquiries and feedback
For all enquiries that you are unable to find on the guidance section of GHGS website and any feedback you would like to provide, you can complete a contact form.
You can also call us for free on 0300 131 0053. Our call centre is open from:
- 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday
- 9am to 5pm, Saturday to Sunday
Our timescales for responding to enquiries and feedback
All email enquiries and feedback will be acknowledged within 1 working day. We aim to respond to all enquiries and feedback within 5 working days. In exceptional circumstances where we are unable to provide a full response within the timeframe, we will ensure to provide an update to you, setting out how we will look to resolve any outstanding query.
What you need to provide
- details regarding the enquiry, feedback and any specific information that is relevant
- team/contact name (if applicable)
If this is a reply to an original response, please also include the customer reference number (if applicable).
If this is about the service provided by GHGS or process, please submit through our Contact Us form or alternatively call us freephone on 0300 131 0053.
You will need to provide:
- a summary of the issue setting out what has happened
- how you would like us to resolve the issue
- team/Contact Name (if applicable)
- if this is a reply to an original response, please also include the customer reference number (if applicable)
- if you have a complaint or comment about an installer or certification body, please contact them directly. They will investigate your complaint under their own procedure
Our timescales for responding to complaints
We will acknowledge complaints within 1 working day, providing you with details on the categorisation of your complaint, and a timeframe for response.
We aim to respond to low complexity complaints within 5 working days.
We aim to respond to high complexity complaints within 20 working days for customers and 7 working days for installers to aid customer installation.
Complaints about our Customer Complaints Service
If you are dissatisfied with the Customer Complaints Service, you can refer your complaint to the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) GHGS complaints process at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before contacting the department, you must have exhausted the GHGS customer service complaints procedure. Any complaint that has not exhausted the process will be referred back to the GHGS customer service team.
We will not normally investigate anonymous complaints. However, this is at the centre’s discretion. If appropriate, the centre staff will determine whether the complaint warrants an investigation.
Persistent or serial complaints
If you are not satisfied with our initial investigation and outcome, you can contact us again asking for a review of the decision. This review will be undertaken by a senior official within the GHGS. You will need to explain why you are not satisfied with the responses so far and what you would like us to do to sort things out. This is the final stage of the internal GHGS complaints process. If, despite all stages of the complaints procedure having been followed, the complainant writes again on the same issue, the correspondence may be recognised as ‘serial’ or ‘persistent’ and we may choose not to respond. If a complainant tries to re-open the same issue, they will be informed in writing that the procedure has been completed and that the matter is now closed.
Should the complainant raise a new, separate complaint it will be responded to in accordance with our complaints procedure. The application of a ‘serial or persistent’ marking is against the subject or complaint itself rather than the complainant.
You must raise the complaint within 2 months of the incident or, where a series of associated incidents have occurred, within 2 months of the last of these incidents. We will consider complaints made outside of this time frame only if exceptional circumstances apply.
Investigation by other bodies
If other bodies are investigating aspects of the complaint, for example the police, Member of Parliament, or a Tribunal, this may impact on our ability to adhere to the timescales within this procedure or result in the procedure being suspended until those public bodies have completed their investigations.
If a complainant commences legal action in relation to their complaint, we will consider whether to suspend the complaints procedure in relation to their complaint until those legal proceedings have concluded.
If the GHGS declines your application for a voucher, you will be sent an email that explains why.
You can appeal:
- voucher eligibility decisions
- voucher award amount
- quality audit findings
You can appeal this decision through the GHGS if you think that
- it was based on a factual error
- it was legally wrong
- the GHGS made an error in processing your application
To formally appeal your GHGS voucher award decision, you must submit your appeal to the Appeals Office within 20 working days from the date of your voucher award decision email to the Appeals Office at email@example.com.
When submitting an appeal, your request must include your:
- full name or the name of all homeowners and applicants
- full address
- grant reference number
- contact information
- specific reason(s) for appeal
You can send additional information to support your appeal claim, including:
- supporting documentation for your appeal
- additional justification for appealing the grant scheme decision
Our timescales for responding to appeals
After you send your appeal request, you will receive a response acknowledging receipt of your appeal request within 5 working days with your appeals reference number.
An appeal officer will consider your application in full against the selection criteria. All decisions will be based on the information included in your application, current scheme policies, and documents provided with your appeal.
All Appeal Office decisions will be recorded in your Appeal Determination Report that will be posted to you within 10 working days from the receipt of your request. You will also be provided with additional detail explaining the basis for the decision as well as additional steps you can take.
Please note that the Appeals Office will not change policies established by the GHGS or the Department of Business, Energy, & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Freedom of Information Request (FoI)
If you are seeking public information or information not related to you, then we will treat your request as an FoI request. We will respond in 20 working days of receiving your request. In certain circumstance, we are allowed to refuse your request for information or provide you with information which has been redacted, in either case we will respond explaining why.
If the information you seek is about the service provided by GHGS or the process, in the first instance please Contact Us or alternatively call us freephone on 0300 131 0053.
If the information you seek is relating to a specific installer or certification body, please contact them directly. They will investigate under their own procedures.
Data Subject Right Requests (DSR)
To make a DSR (including to request a copy of your personal data), please use our Contact Us section or alternatively call us freephone on 0300 131 0053.
Any DSR should only be about information held by us in relation to the GHGS. If your request relates to information held by an installer or certification body, please contact them directly.
What I need to provide for an FOI or DSR?
- a clear label for your request (for example, use ‘data subject right request’ or ‘freedom of information request’) as your email subject line
- your name (including any aliases, if relevant)
- customer reference number (if relevant)
- a comprehensive list of what data you want to access
- any details, relevant dates, or search criteria that will help the organisation identify what you want
- for a DSR, where possible, please be as specific as you can regarding the personal data you require. This will help to ensure a more targeted search and timely response
Don’t include other information with your request, such as details about a wider customer service complaint. Please submit a separate request (see the complaint process section).
We will continually monitor the effectiveness of the complaints procedure in ensuring that complaints are handled properly. The customer centre will track the number and nature of complaints, and review underlying issues where appropriate, and respecting confidentiality, to determine whether there are any improvements that the centre can make to its procedures or practice to help prevent similar events in the future.
We will record the progress of all issues raised, including information about actions taken at all stages, for example, the stage at which the complaint was resolved, and the outcome. The records will also include copies of letters and emails, and notes relating to phone calls.
This material will be treated as confidential and held centrally as appropriate and will be viewed only by those involved in investigating the complaint.
This is except where the Secretary of State (or someone acting on their behalf) or the complainant requests access to records of a complaint through a freedom of information (FoI) request under the Freedom of Information Act or through a data subject rights request (DSR) under the UK GDPR, or where the material must be made available during an inspection.
We take your privacy and security seriously. To help you stay protected, here are some things that we will never do:
- send someone to your home to collect cash, passbooks, bank cards or anything else that contains sensitive personal information
- ask you to email or text personal or banking information
- call or email you to ask for any PIN numbers or online passwords
- send an email with a link to a page which asks you to enter any online log-in details
- call or email you to authorise the transfer of funds to a new account or hand over cash
- ask you to carry out a test transaction online
Fraud and scams no longer target just the elderly and vulnerable. Often criminals will use ways of getting hold of your bank or other personal details to steal money from your account(s). Fraud is becoming ever more sophisticated, but people are still caught out by traditional phone and letter scams, so you must remain constantly alert to suspicious activity. Fraud comes in many guises whether a home visit, phone call, letter, text, email or on the web. One common factor though is that they are all hoping to con you out of your cash.
If something does not feel right
Should you ever be suspicious of anyone who claims to be from the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme, or should you feel unsure of an email you have received, please contact our customer contact centre on freephone 0300 131 0053 and select our Fraud Hotline.
You can also report scams to Action Fraud:
It shares information with the police about scams.
For advice or help from Trading Standards, call the Citizens Advice Helpline on 0808 223 1133. If you think you’ve revealed sensitive information or payment details to a scammer, contact your bank. It will be able to help protect your accounts from fraud. If you’ve lost money to a scam, see what you can do to get your money back.
If you have received an email from the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme
The Green Home Grant Voucher Scheme has an obligation to ensure that all activities are in line with the schemes Terms and Conditions. We may need to undertake further compliance checks which may cause a delay to your application/voucher.
These are standard processes, and we deal with these as quickly as possible. We will set out in our emails if we require anything further from you and the results of our checks.