Most importantly these policies have no cost implications for Government, but would make a real difference in boosting the number of energy efficient homes in the UK.
In the wake of failed government policy and the need to connect with households, Policy Exchange calls for energy efficiency to be linked into property prices and not treated in isolation. This move could encourage up to 270,000 households a year to undertake energy efficiency improvements, engaging UK homeowners to improve their own homes, bringing their bills down and paying £500 less on stamp duty (based on a £220,000 home).
Their recommendations calls for two complementary but realistic policies which can make this happen:
1. Linking Stamp Duty to energy performance, to create an incentive to purchase a more energy efficient home.
2. Encouraging lenders to offer energy efficiency mortgages and reforming mortgage affordability tests to better reflect the energy performance of a property.
These policies would engage the “able to pay" consumer at a key point in the buying process to make their homes warmer and more comfortable but also improve their homes and subsequently the UK’s housing stock which is the worst in Western Europe. These proposals would also ensure that those with lower value properties will not be adversely impacted by these changes and the Government can concentrate their support on the fuel poor through the new ECO in 2017.
Executive Director of MIMA, Sarah Kostense-Winterton commented “In the absence of government policy and previous policy flops, MIMA is encouraged by these positive policy recommendations and believes that these should be an attractive proposition to the Government, the Energy Secretary, Amber Rudd and the Chancellor, George Osborne. These are revenue neutral policies which can be introduced and implemented with relative ease but which would not strain the Exchequer’s purse strings, whilst empowering UK consumers to lower their bills and improve their homes.
These sit comfortably with the call to make energy efficiency of our buildings an infrastructure priority and to sit with the newly established, National Infrastructure Commission. These recommendations will also help protect consumers over the long-term from energy price volatility and from fuel poverty, whilst substantially reducing the UK’s carbon emissions.”
View report here.