Homeowners could have access to as much as £10,000 financing to green their homes under proposals put forward by the UK Green Building Council (UK GBC).
The UK GBC has proposed that the funding be loaned to home owners and landlords for energy efficiency measures such as solid-wall insulation and A-rated boilers. The money would then be repaid over time to the individual’s local authority.
The UK GBC has published its proposals to complement the government’s ‘Pay as you Save’ scheme which aims to help 7 million homes with “green makeovers.”
The UK GBC says its proposals are the most comprehensive analysis to date of how a Pay as you Save scheme could be practically implemented in the UK.
According to the UK GBC’s recommendations and findings:
- up to £5bn of capital could be sourced from the private sector every year for investment in greening the UK’s existing housing stock. This money should be held by a third –party finance body underwritten by Government in order to keep interest rates low for householders.
- A range of properly accredited ‘Low Energy Refurbishment Providers’, such as high street retailers, energy companies or builders, should be able to access this finance – up to £10,000 per household - and in turn offer the Pay As You Save proposition to the householder.
- Primary legislation would be required to enable the local authority to create a Pay As You Save ‘Local Land Charge’ via which the money is repaid. The Charge attaches to the property and not to the owner and it does not appear on the title of the property at the Land Registry. Instead, it is kept on the Local Authority Register of Local Land Charges and in effect is ‘passed on’ to future owners until the charge expires after 25 years.
- The local authority maintains a schedule of payments to be made for each property, issuing the PAYS charge monthly. Debt risk is managed by the local authority, with some debt risk potentially mitigated by a level of support from the government.
Paul King, chief executive of the UK GBC, said: “This innovative proposal would provide the finance to trigger a revolution in household refurbishment, creating thousands of new jobs and significantly cutting carbon emissions. Both Government and opposition parties have voiced their support for the principles of a scheme like this – what’s needed is to get on with it.”
Building Sustainable Design