Environmental group calls for stamp duty rebates on VAT reductions for homeowners upgrading properties

Friends of the Earth called for the Government to introduce fresh new measures to encourage homeowners to make their properties more energy efficient.

David Timms, Green House campaigner for Friends of the Earth said: “The Chancellor should introduce incentives in this autumn’s Pre Budget Report to make it easier and cheaper for homeowners to act on the information provided by Energy Performance Certificates.

Nearly 30% of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions comes from our homes, and Timms said incentives such as Stamp Duty rebates and VAT reductions are essential to encourage people to make their homes more energy efficient.

“‘If you have work done because for example you’ve got an old boiler, single frame windows or poor loft insulation and you spend ‘x’ thousands of pounds to bring it up two points on the index, we believe you should be able to claim 30% or something like that off stamp duty or as a rebate to give you an incentive to do the work,” he said.

“We are keen that the government pushes forward with schemes to allow people to get a VAT reduction on work they do on their house to make it more energy efficient. At the moment if a professional comes in to insulate your roof for example you only pay 5% VAT however if you do DIY you have to pay 17.5%. That includes doing as little as installing an energy efficient light bulb.”

Furthermore, Timms would like to see an increase in government spending on micro generation technology for homes to avoid falling even further behind our European neighbours.

“We would also like to see increases in government spending on micro generation. The current budget is a measly £6million whereas countries like Germany are spending 100 times more so we’re falling behind. The reason for this is because we don’t have a proper law in place,” he said.