ACE has been calling on the Government for some time to introduce a range of fiscal incentives to incentivise take-up of energy efficiency measures and the Green Deal in particular. In the current Parliamentary session, the campaign has been primarily focused on Early Day Motion (EDM) 406, which calls for a number of tax breaks and incentives, including a reduced rate of VAT on efficient glazing and A-rated boilers, stamp duty rebates, an increase in the level of the Landlords Energy Saving Allowance, and a consultation to assess the potential for using variable rates of council tax which reflect the energy efficiency of the property. The EDM – sponsored by Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert – is currently supported by 80 MPs of all Parties.
We were encouraged by Energy Secretary Ed Davey’s speech to this autumn’s Lib Dem Conference to the effect that he would be “working with Don Foster to look at council tax discounts for energy efficiency to see if they will encourage people to sign up to the Green Deal.” We were all the more disappointed therefore when the Autumn Statement on 5 December contained no mention of any new fiscal incentives – or even a reaffirmation that DECC and CLG are working together on such an initiative.
We will therefore continue to build support for the Motion and our wider fiscal incentives campaign, with the aim of a more encouraging announcement in Budget 2013.