According to the UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC), the reductions would be offset by forcing people in inefficient homes to pay more tax and stamp duty. The objective would be to encourage consumers across the country to make the necessary improvements to conserve energy.
The suggestions are included in a UK-GBC report which claims the Green Deal scheme needs to be overhauled – something the council wrote to energy secretary Ed Davey about last month.
Increasing the Green Deal’s appeal
The report follows the publication of new government figures revealing that 245 households across the UK intend to go ahead with Green Deal financing. The scheme has now been in operation for six months.
The programme has come in for criticism from a number of sectors, with detractors arguing that the scheme is too complex and has an unfair level of interest attached to it.
Paul King, chief executive of the UK-GBC, said the report will hopefully highlight that there are “viable policy options” available to boost demand for the Green Deal and help tackle the country’s growing 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 explained.
“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.”
According to the UK-GBC, increasing incentives for energy efficient properties will lead to an increase in demand for the retrofit of homes. Proposals could deliver as many as 169,000 additional retrofits a year, subsequently boosting economic growth.
The suggestions were welcomed by Derek Lickorish, chair of government-funded lobby group Fuel Poverty Advisory Group, which represents those in the UK who are classed as being fuel poor.
However, he also pointed out that many people in fuel poverty live in inefficient homes and so will need to be supported by the government to avoid them being penalised, if the proposals come to pass.