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Council tax incentives could be key to green deal success



Introducing financial incentives to encourage homeowners to take up energy efficiency measures could provide a much-needed boost to the green deal, according to a new report.

The study from the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) said that incentives such as reduced council tax payments or stamp duty for more efficient properties could significantly increase demand for retrofitting green technology.

It also claimed that the proposals could inspire growth in the construction sector, as well as reduce emissions from households.

Paul King, chief executive of the UKGBC, said, “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.”

In an open letter to all three of the main political parties the UKGBC urged for more to be done to make the scheme appealing to homeowners.

In his response, energy minister Greg Barker said that further subsidies were unlikely to be made due to budget cuts.

The green deal initiative encourages homeowners to install green technology into their property with no up front costs. They then pay back the costs gradually through their energy bill.

The green deal was expected to assist the retrofit of 14m homes by 2020. However, it was recently revealed that only 245 households had so far agreed a green deal plan.

Figures show that meeting legally binding EU carbon targets would require a high level of retrofit across the UK’s 26m homes. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has claimed the scheme has boosted energy efficiency in the UK and can improve the value of properties .

However, the green deal has come under fire, having been linked to a drop in cavity wall insulation measures.

DECC has also had to issue new guidance to suppliers to address concerns that home insulated under the scheme may overheat to dangerous levels during heatwaves.

Further reading:

DECC confirms only 4 of 38,000 green deal assessments turned into installations

Green deal has boosted energy efficiency in the UK, says government

Energy saving measures improve the value of properties, government says

Green deal causes 97% drop in cavity wall insulation numbers

21% would think twice about buying a home with green deal loan attached