Reduce council tax to encourage energy efficiency

A survey* conducted by Ipsos Mori for the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), shows that ‘an alarmingly low proportion’ of people plan to take any action to make their homes more energy efficient during 2014.

The survey, which took place as the government’s Big Energy Saving Week came to a close at the end of last month, showed that just 9% and 5% of people are considering installing solar panels with heat pumps respectively. Only 6% are likely to have their home cavity wall insulated with 9% likely to install double glazing.

Some measures are relatively expensive – but even LED light bulbs, a simple and low cost energy efficiency measure, are only being considered by 25% of home owners.

“People are not planning to spend money on energy efficiency,” said Marjan Sarshar from the IET. “The returns are too intangible and the long term Green Deal loan remains with the house.

“The government needs to make energy efficiency measures more accessible. They could be incentivised in a similar manner to the government’s policy on cars whereby more energy efficient cars pay less tax.

“A substantive reduction in council tax, which would remain with the property to add to its value, would encourage the uptake of Green Deal. In this way householders would see the tangible benefit and would be more likely to respond by making their own investments.”

*The survey involved 2,011 adults aged 16-75 in Great Britain.