Oldham, UK — BRUFMA – the British Rigid Urethane Foam Manufacturers’ Association – is backing what it calls “financial levers” to encourage homeowners to invest in energy efficiency.
The association is supporting a Policy Exchange report urging the UK Government to integrate energy efficiency within the housing market and the price of the house when they are sold. Up to 270,000 households could be encouraged to make energy efficiency improvements per year, according to the charity’s report.
It recommends linking Stamp Duty - the tax placed on legal documents for the transfer of property - to energy performance, with reductions on more efficient homes and duty increases on less efficient homes. “This would make it cash neutral from the Government’s point of view, said BRUFMA in a statement on its website.
A Stamp Duty rebate if a home undergoes energy efficiency improvements within a year of purchase was also suggested in the Policy Exchange report.
“Immediate payback for upgrades could help to address the major problem of the UK’s existing housing stock, which is among the least efficient in Europe,” BRUFMA said.
Encouraging lenders to offer energy efficiency mortgages – which include the cost of upgrades – was also suggested. This may "incentivise sellers to enhance a property’s energy efficiency as a mortgage would be more likely to be granted.
This would "help the sale progress and the cost of upgrades would be less onerous short-term,” BRUFMA added.