Data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in February show two thirds (66%) of adults in Britain reported their cost of living increased in the past month, and 79% cited higher gas and electricity bills as a cause.
So, with energy costs soaring and further uncertainty ahead, energy efficiency in homes becomes front of mind for many people but the expense of putting in measures is a barrier for many landlords and homeowners alike.
The Energy Efficiency Infrastructure Group (EEIG), which Propertymark is a member of, has called for the introduction of an Energy Saving Stamp Duty Incentive that will encourage homeowners to future-proof their homes against high energy bills.
The Energy Saving Stamp Duty proposal is part of the EEIG’s Better Buildings Investment Plan and under the idea, a lower level of Stamp Duty would be applied to sales of more energy efficient homes and those that are made more energy efficient after being purchased.
Propertymark has supported proposals for the Energy Saving Stamp Duty Incentive as a long-term, revenue-neutral, structural driver for retrofitting homes and for more sustainable new homes to be built, which was outlined in a letter from the EEIG to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
“We want to see more energy-efficient homes, but how homeowners and landlords will pay the necessary costs remains a major barrier to current targets for the private rented sector and a reduction in emissions across the entire property sector being met,” commented Timothy DouglasHead of Policy and Campaigns, Propertymark.
“The UK Government must give consideration to a variety of incentive schemes alongside access to sustained funding that will help homeowners and landlords to make their properties more energy-efficient, cut their carbon footprint and reduce energy bills.”
The EEIG says it would encourage people to actively think about the energy performance of the home they are considering purchasing, about potential improvements, consider any retrofit costs and plan to realise the rebate, reducing the cost of retrofitting under-performing homes.
To verify performance improvements, the tax incentive would need to be underpinned by an EPC regime based on real, verified performance data that will simultaneously enhance retrofit and building standards and give homeowners the ability to hold installers and builders accountable.
Rising energy prices and the UK Government’s 2050 net-zero target have highlighted the need for action to reduce emissions from homes, which now account for 20% of carbon emissions.
I will keep you up to date with what happens, in the meantime, if you have questions on this or require any advice on the local property market, please do not hesitate to contact me as I am always happy to help.