Budget Reaction: Chancellor should have incentivised energy efficiency
Elmhurst Energy is fully supportive of today’s budget announcement to scrap stamp duty for first time buyers on properties costing up to £300,000, and to boost the building of new homes by 50%, to 300,000, by 2025.
What is disappointing is that the opportunity to incentivise the purchase of energy efficient homes was missed.
Elmhurst Energy has always supported a 'carrot and stick' approach to energy efficiency and we believe that in his November budget the Chancellor should have offered a stamp duty reduction to homes with an energy rating of ‘C’ or above, the target set for new all homes from 2035. The impact of flexing stamp duty rates was proved to be workable and effective when the supplement was applied to second homes from April 2016 and the chancellor should return some of that extra income to house buyers prepared to buy an energy efficient home.
Reducing the cost of housebuying will give a boost to a stagnating residential sales market, and the positive impact that has on the economy. By applying the reduction to Stamp Duty it will also encourage the sellers of a home to prepare the house for sale in the best possible energy efficient condition, rather than hoping that the new buyer, who will have stretched their budget to the maximum to buy, will have the resources to do so.
This is also a green flag to mortgage lenders who are already making plans to offer green mortgages to energy efficient homes, as the owners will have a higher disposable income.
Elmhurst Energy will continue to lobby government to ensure that policies continue to focus on energy efficiency, that the value of EPCs is understood and that the views of Members are heard.