Worcester backs Lib Dem council tax proposals

Published:  25 September, 2014

Worcester, Bosch Group’s Martyn Bridges has backed plans laid out by the Liberal Democrats to reward people who improve the energy efficiency of their homes with a council tax discount.

“The idea that homeowners could find themselves benefiting from both reduced energy bills and reduced council tax has the potential to be one of the strongest energy efficiency incentives introduced to date,” said Mr Bridges.

“The fact is, even if our construction industry never built another house, the UK will continue to struggle to meet its energy efficiency targets unless radical change is made to the performance of our existing housing stock. Given the UK’s obligations to cut emissions by 80% by 2050 under the Climate Change Act, we need to do more to stop energy being lost at the point of use, and that means doing all we can to encourage change amongst homeowners.

“At appliance level, the mandatory status of condensing boilers has helped to minimise emissions, as has the introduction of the ErP Directive, but we now find ourselves in a position where we need to motivate homeowners to take this even further by considering the way they heat and insulate their properties. Arguably, the best way to do that is to offer a financial incentive that is simple to understand and access.”

Mr Bridges believes that it may be time for the government to underline its commitment to creating a greener economy by effectively scrapping the current council tax system in favour of the new model.

He added: “The most practical way to put these proposals into practice could be to start afresh and realign each property’s council tax in accordance with its energy rating. Whilst assessments would without doubt require a significant level of investment, it would certainly send out a strong message on how serious we are about creating a stronger, more sustainable economy over the long term.”

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