Owners of energy-efficient homes should pay less for their council tax and stamp duty to drive take-up of the government’s flagship energy-efficiency scheme, according to campaigners.
Publishing an analysis on how to improve the green deal, the UK Green Building Council said the changes would be funded by making the owners of the country’s leakiest, most inefficient homes pay more under the two taxes.
The proposed incentives follow government figures, published at the end of June, that showed only 245 households were on the brink of finalising financing under the green deal, six months after its launch.
The scheme sees homeowners take out loans with private companies, attached to their property, to cover the cost of energy efficiency improvements such as new boilers and insulation. But it has been criticised for being too complex, having high interest rates and for the financing being beset by legal and software delays.
Echoing a letter the UK-GBC sent last month to energy secretary, Ed Davey, the organisation said the green deal should be reformed, not scrapped.
Paul King, UK GBC’s chief executive, said: “This sends a powerful message to the government that there are viable policy options available to boost demand for the green deal and help tackle the UK’s energy efficiency crisis. The research shows not only the impact additional incentives would have on carbon savings, but how they could breathe new life into the construction sector and boost economic growth”.
He added: “There are some tough political choices to be made, not least in using the tax regime to nudge householders into action, but the opportunities for UK Plc are just so great, that this is a nettle which needs to be grasped.”