Green tariff proposal also backed by audience of sustainability professionals at Think and UK Green Building Council meeting. With video footage

A proposal to slash income tax for citizens that consume less energy was the overwhelming winner of a Dragons Den-style green policy event held this morning.

The Think Tank, organised by the Think 08 event and the UK Green Building Council, judged seven policy proposals put forward to a panel of experts and a crowd of 70 sustainability experts and professionals.

The winner was a call for income tax rebates put forward by John Doggart, from green charity the Sustainable Energy Academy. This is a charity that promotes energy efficient housing.

Doggart said his proposal would be for the rebates to last eight years and to encourage early adopters would offer 60% off income tax for those who take it in up in the first years of the scheme. This would reduce to 15% towards the end of the programme. “This is a fast and cheap way to make a change. There are no barriers for it to go ahead.”

The proposal was backed by the three expert panellists, UK Green Building Council chief executive Paul King, lawyer David Johnston from Berwin Leighton Paisner and Ashley Seager, economics correspondent at the Guardian.

The second most popular proposal was introducing a green feed-in tariff for renewable energy put forward by Dave Timms from the Friends of the Earth. The UKBC’s King described this policy as a “no-brainer”.

The six other proposals were:

  • Andrew Warren of ACE - stamp duty rebates
  • Matt Prescott of Carbon Limited, RSA - personal carbon allowances
  • Henry Oliver, Empty Homes Agency - housing & planning delivery grant for empty homes
  • Brian Berry, FMB - cutting VAT on refurbishments
  • Prof. Anne Power, SDC – changes to the charges on new build and demolition to reflect their environmental impact
  • Andrew Teacher, British Property Federation - to improve Enhanced Capital Allowances scheme to cover building fabric in greening existing stock