After the government’s announcement that the Green Deal scheme is to be cut, a new report has suggested that all houses being sold or let should meet minimum energy efficiency standards. The report, by think tank ResPublica, makes a number of suggestions for helping homeowners fund energy saving projects and home improvements.
The report outlines workable ways to help consumers improve the energy efficiency of their homes, which would help to cut bills as well as carbon emissions, and on a wider scale improve health and wellbeing. It recommends a top-down approach to government infrastructure spending, so local authorities can identify target areas where there aren’t enough energy efficient homes.
If all homes being transferred on the market – whether being sold or let on the private rental market – had to meet standards for energy efficiency, more homes would instantly improve their energy efficiency rating. However, it could prove costly for some homeowners or landlords to make all necessary improvements, forcing some people out of the property market.
That’s why the report also called for guaranteed low-interest loans to be made available to homeowners to pay for energy saving measures such as double glazing and insulation. Additionally, people who make the effort to make their property more energy efficient before selling should be rewarded by having to pay less stamp duty.
The report also made recommendations on how local authorities could improve energy efficiency standards in their own areas. It suggested that the government funding should be devolved to city regions so they could invest in their own energy schemes. Additionally, city councils should be able to keep revenue generated from carbon taxes which could go straight back into the local energy efficiency schemes.
The report also focuses on the impact that poor energy efficiency has on public health. Local authorities should identify areas where there are too few energy efficient homes, and as a result people are suffering from poor health. The findings can be used to create ‘warm home zones’ where councils will enforce strict standards for home improvements which homeowners and landlords will need to meet.
What do you think about these recommendations – do you think they could be more effective in tackling the nationwide problem than the Green Deal? You can read the report in more detail here: http://www.respublica.org.uk/our-work/publications/after-the-green-deal/