Government considers stamp duty discounts for home insulation

Government considers stamp duty discounts for home insulation

Great news – The government has announced that it is considering offering discounts on stamp duty or council tax to families who insulate their homes.

The energy minister, Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, revealed the idea following the failure of the flagship Green Deal loan scheme. “The Green Deal didn’t work, but we are studying ways energy efficiency work could be incentivised – possibly some stamp duty abatement, or something on council tax,” he told MPs on the energy select committee.

Improving the energy efficiency of Britain's housing is a clear way to cut carbon emissions to meet green targets and to reduce energy bills.

The Green Deal scheme, launched in 2013, was supposed to herald a revolution in upgrading Britain’s old and draughty housing stock. It tried to encourage millions of households to take out loans to fund the cost of energy efficiency work, with the loans paid back out of the resulting savings on their energy bills. But following very low take-up the scheme was scrapped last year and was labeled a disappointing failure by the select committee.

Lord Bourne said: "We are surveying opinion to see what is the nudge that is needed, because the Green Deal didn't work. Is it in terms of an incentive against taxes that aren’t necessarily terribly popular, like stamp duty or council tax? Or is there some other way we could move forward?"

It’s not the first time such tax incentives have been suggested by MPs on the energy committee. Ed Davey, the former energy secretary, had advocated council tax discounts of £100 a year for energy efficiency.

Lord Bourne said that the plans were at a very early stage of thinking at the moment and that the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s number one priority on energy efficiency was reform of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme.

While any tax incentives would be aimed at those deemed “able to pay” for the improvements, the ECO scheme is designed to focus on those in fuel poverty who are already struggling with their bills.

Whatever happens, you can be sure that Insulation4Less will help you to sort through the information and then to make your home nice and warm again.

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