The low take-up among homeowners and landlords of the government’s Green Homes Grant has been laid bare.
Energy Minister Annie-Marie Trevelyan told parliament yesterday that just 74,317 applications have been made for the controversial voucher scheme and that so far only 23,553 had been issued.
This follows a stinging rebuke for the scheme from the parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee which, as we reported last week, said its delivery by an outsourced company in the US had been ‘poor’.
Tax reform needed
This has prompted the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) to call for reform of the tax system to support landlords who want to upgrade their properties ahead of next week’s budget statement.
“Given that over 32 per cent of properties in the private rented sector were built before 1919, it faces a huge challenge in making homes energy efficient when compared with any other housing sector,” the NRLA says.
“The Government has committed to upgrade as many private rented sector homes as possible to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C or better by 2030. Currently, 62 per cent have an EPC rating of D or lower.”
In reality the government is proposing to push more of the financial burden of achieving Band C onto landlords which includes raising the minimum contribution by landlords from £3,500 to £10,000.
Instead, the NRLA wants landlords to be able to offset upgrade costs against their tax bill when they purchase or repair a property, rather than against CGT much further down the line, which is currently the case.
“For example, replacing a broken boiler is tax deductible [but] replacing an energy inefficient model for a more efficient boiler or heating system is not,” it says.