The Government is considering whether people could pay less stamp duty on purchases of energy efficient homes, as part of its ‘Clean Growth Strategy’ published last week.
When questioned, Claire Perry, Minister of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, made a statement in the House of Commons on Thursday 12th in which she noted that “tax matters such as stamp duty are ones for our excellent Chancellor and his Budgets”.
However, speaking to BBC Radio 4, Ms Perry promised that householders would face both “carrots and sticks” to encourage savings on heating bills and reductions in carbon emissions.
She confirmed that the idea of stamp duty incentives was one that she was interested in, and could be just “one of the incentives” introduced to encourage homeowners to implement energy-saving measures. Ms Perry noted that “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.”
The need for change
As part of its commitments under the Climate Change Act, the Government must cut CO2 emissions by 57% compared to 1990 levels, by 2050.
Homes produce 13% of the UK’s emissions – or 22% if electricity use is factored in.
To help meet its targets, the Government is attempting to triple the rate at which homes are insulted, according to Ed Matthew of E3G, a climate change think tank. Mr Matthew describes the Government’s current policies as ambitious and in need of more money.
Since 1990, the UK has achieved a 42% reduction in its carbon emissions. However most of these savings have been achieved through reducing the amount of coal used for generating power. Experts have warned that failure to address rising carbon emissions from UK homes could lead to the Government missing its carbon targets. A new stamp duty incentive would certainly be a step in the right direction but a wide range of measures and a firm commitment are likely to be needed to make up for lost ground.