Energy Minister Claire Perry has said that homeowners may be incentivised to improve the energy efficiency of their houses by reducing stamp duty.
In an interview with Radio 4’s Today, the minister said she was interested in the idea of reducing stamp duty on properties that have been made more energy efficient. This could be “one of the incentives” to encourage homeowners to put in energy saving measures. She added: “It’s more likely that a home where insulation has been put in would attract a higher value, because the running cost of that home over the lifetime of ownership would be lower.”
It is clear to see why the Government is keen to improve the energy efficiency of homes across the country. Currently, homes account for 13% of the UK’s total emissions. This increases to 22% if electricity use is taken into account. If this situation is not improved, the UK will fail to meet the targets set in the Climate Change Act to reduce CO2 emissions by 57% from 1990 levels by 2050.
Accordingly, increasing the number of insulated homes is an important part of the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy, which was published on 12 October. Measures in the Plan include upgrading around a million homes through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), and extending support for home energy efficiency improvements from 2022 to 2028 at least at the current level of ECO funding. The Plan also states the Government will develop a long term trajectory to improve the energy performance standards of privately-rented homes, with the aim of upgrading as many private rented homes as possible to Energy Performance Certificate Band C by 2030 where practical, cost effective and affordable.
Ed Matthew, from the climate change think tank E3G, welcomed the plan but says there needs to be a clear strategy. He said: “The government is trying to triple the rate at which homes are being insulated. This policy is really ambitious but it needs money – and the Treasury has to stump up.”
Jonathan Church, a spokesman for the environmental lawyers ClientEarth, said the strategy didn’t go far enough. He said: “We need a firm commitment to say how the UK will decarbonise. Ministers do seem to be trying to make up lost ground with their new strategy, but they have not done enough.”