Council Tax Cut For Energy Efficient Homes
By Anne Lewis-Schneider
Faltering Green Deal Needs A Boost
The UK Green Building Council is looking for ways to encourage a greater involvement in energy saving initiatives like the newly launched Green Deal, offering Council Tax and Stamp Duty discounts for those households that are more energy wise, with less efficient dwellings facing higher costs.
After assessing almost 19,000 abodes, only 245 households have taken advantage of governments’ initiative to encourage home improvements to make buildings energy efficient. With the right incentives given, the UK Green Building Council thinks it would encourage 1.5 million households to take advantage of loans offered to refurbish dwellings with more energy saving improvements, and millions of pounds to boost the UK economy annually.
Paul King, the chief executive of UK Green Building Council, has stated that the purpose of the report was to highlight the many options available to increase the usage of the Green Deal, thus assisting in the UK’s looming energy efficiency crisis. He went on to say that there were some choices that had to be made and that these would lead to a more positive carbon saving, and also a welcome upturn in the construction arena and a boost to the UK economy.
Campaigners for the Green Deal inferred that the Stamp Duty scheme could mean houses that are compliant with changes would see a discount on tax bills and those buildings with lower compliance levels paying more. This would depend on the performance certification.
The UK Green Building Council says that this could lead to a massive 135,000 to 270,000 dwellings per annum making improvements to their energy efficiency, thus adding £1.5 billion to £4.4 billion to the economy per annum. Paul King of the Green Building Council suggests that the interest rate on the Green Deal be lowered to sweeten the deal. This has been rejected by Ed Davey, who is the Secretary of the Energy and Climate Change. Ed Davey however has said that the government is operating against a vista of budget cuts, and that subsidies to interest rates would not be feasible in the short term.
With many older dwellings not being assessed for their Energy Performance Certificate, which is the A-G system used to rank home energy efficiency, the Green Building Council says that uncertified homes would be penalised, the assumption being that they are not energy efficient.
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