UKGBC finds ways to boost retrofits

22nd July, 2013

UKGBC says FITs and incentives could raise domestic take-up

Stamp duty and council tax incentives, and a feed-in tariff for energy efficiency could grow home retrofits by 1.5 million and boost the government’s Green Deal initiative, a study by the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) reveals.

A UKGBC task group looked in depth at the three ways of raising the take up of domestic energy efficiency:
A variable stamp duty scheme giving housebuyers a discount if a property exceeds a given energy efficiency standard, or making them pay a higher rate if performance is poor. According to the study, such a scheme could deliver 135,000-270,000 additional retrofits a year, annual carbon savings of 209,000-417,000t CO₂ and contribute between £404 million and £807 million a year to GDP
Variable council tax rates, according to the energy efficiency of a property, with discounts for high performing properties and higher rates for poorer performing ones. This option would require all homes to have a valid energy performance certificate. This could deliver 518,000-1,481,000 additional retrofits a year, annual carbon savings of 812,000-2,232,000t CO₂ and contribute between £1.5 billion and £4.4 billion a year to GDP

An energy efficiency feed-in tariff, which would reward households for installing measures to reduce their energy demand. This could deliver 65,000-169,000 additional retrofits a year, annual carbon savings of 97,000-254,000t CO₂ and contribute between £193 million and £506 million a year to GDP.

Breathing new life into construction

The taskforce included representatives from: ACE, Carillion, HTA Design, Keepmoat Group, Kingspan, Knauf Insulation, Paul Appleby Consultants, Saint-Gobain, Sweett Group, Travis Perkins, Willmott Dixon, Verco, WSP Group and WWF UK. Its findings are contained in the report, Retrofit incentives: boosting the take-up of energy efficiency measures in domestic properties. The report follows the release of government statistics last month charting slow early take up of the Green Deal.

Paul King, chief executive of the UKGBC, said: “The research shows not only the impact that additional incentives would have on carbon savings, but how they could breathe new life into the construction sector and boost economic growth.” The report was funded under the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts’ climate change collaboration.

In a letter to UKGBC, climate change minister Greg Barker said: “With the pressure to close the deficit, and a desire to reduce complexity, even revenue-neutral mechanisms are difficult, but you are right to keep the discussion going.” Barker wrote to UKGBC last month in response to its suggestions, and to its rallying call for action on the Green Deal.


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