POLITICS

Stamp Duty Could Be Cut On Energy-Efficient Homes, Climate Change Minister Suggests

Greenpeace welcome move as Clean Growth Strategy launched

12/10/2017 10:43 | Updated 12 October 2017
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Stamp duty could be slashed on sales of energy-efficient homes in a bid to persuade more people to go green, the Government’s climate change minister has revealed.

Claire Perry said that cutting stamp duty, which would save buyers thousands of pounds, was one option being looked at as part of the drive to help the UK reduce carbon emissions.

Perry spoke as the long-awaited ‘Clean Growth Strategy’ was published on Thursday, with a pledge to set Britain “on a path to a low carbon future”.  

The strategy includes a new target to get all homes upgraded to “Energy Performance Certificate Band C” – often by installing insulation and other measures - by 2035.

An alliance of energy think tanks, campaigners and companies recently called for stamp duty rebates for homes that had been upgraded.

Asked if the idea of stamp duty cuts was being considered to boost the number of low-carbon homes, the minister told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Yes it is, and that would be one of the incentives to do it.

“It’s more likely that a home where insulation has been put in would attract a higher value. In order to meet our targets on carbon emissions…we are looking at a whole series of measures.”

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Loft insulators

At present, stamp duty of 2% is levied on homes between £125,001 and £250,000, and 5% on homes between £250,000 and £925,000.  For many homes in the second bracket, tens of thousands of pounds would be cut from sales costs.

Perry added that she wanted to change building regulations and use “carrots and sticks”.  She said: “In the worst energy efficient homes we are expecting landlords to upgrade those.”

Fresh support for ‘green finance’ would be provided, with the public not penalised through their mortgage for making home improvements.

Perry said that insulated homes in Band C on average saved £300 a year on energy bill, adding that “we’ve tried for years and years to get people” to insulate and it was time “to be much more innovative”.

Doug Parr, Policy Director at Greenpeace UK, told HuffPost UK: “Claire Perry’s nod to a potential stamp duty cut for greener homes confirms that the government is thinking seriously about the options for pushing energy efficiency to the next level.

“The increasing emphasis on incentivising people to make their homes more efficient is promising for cutting emissions. And minimising lost heat also saves energy, lowering consumer bills and leading to higher economic output. Many innovative ideas for cracking the problem of energy efficiency have been circulating amongst companies and NGOs for years. If the government can start bringing that thinking into tangible policy, that is welcome progress, if a little belated.”

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