An influential energy coalition has called for EPC ratings to be linked to stamp duty in a bid to encourage homeowners and landlords to invest in home insulation and protect against rising bills.
The Energy Efficiency Infrastructure Group, made up of industry, businesses and charities, has written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak urging him to support a new Energy Saving Stamp Duty Incentive.
This aims to encourage people to either buy a more energy-efficient home or incentivise them to make it more energy-efficient afterwards by installing insulation or a heat pump. Households would be charged a lower level of stamp duty for doing so.
Homeowners are being encouraged to get their properties to EPC band C by 2035, while – if the new energy efficiency bill gets the green light – landlords will have to meet the target by December 2025 on new tenancies and on all rented properties by December 2028. There is mounting concern that this could spark many to quit the sector.
The group says that with so many millions of homes to retrofit, its concept of a long-term structural incentive is necessary to engage and prepare the market, and it believes this could prove more effective and simpler than a large-scale, short-term, costly grant programme – while also being revenue-neutral.
Speaking on BBC You and Yours, spokesman David Adams explained: “Stamp duty would be calculated then nudged up and down around a neutral point based on the energy performance of that dwelling, so the better performing the home from an energy perspective, the lower the stamp duty paid.
“If work is undertaken within the first two years, you can get a new EPC and then resubmit that, and you would get a rebate for the difference in stamp duty to what you paid originally and what you would have paid had that work already been undertaken.”