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Tax Breaks and Retrofit fund needed to promote energy efficiency - call

Most home owners, including landlords, have experienced obstacles that have prevented them from carrying out energy efficiencies on their properties.

That’s according to the latest research by the consumer group HomeOwners Alliance.  

It says some 36 per cent of homeowners have not undertaken work because of the cost of improvements, 19 per cent say the lack of grants/ incentives is a barrier and a similar proportion are not convinced the up-front cost will pay for itself in energy savings.

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Some homeowners say a lack of trusted tradespeople, a lack of skilled trades, and previous insulation scandals have also stopped them from carrying out energy efficiencies.

While 81 per cent of homeowners and landlords have undertaken some energy efficiency measures in the home they are usually the simpler and less expensive ones. The main ones being energy efficient lighting and loft/roof insulation. Less common are installing heating controls, draught-proofing, installing solar panels or switching to a heat pump.

Younger homeowners aged 18 to 34 are more likely to undertake more substantial improvements such as installing solar panels or heat pumps. 

Homeowners Alliance chief executive Paula Higgins says: “Our survey shows that homeowners think energy efficiency measures are too expensive and that there is not enough help. Not only can most households not afford to invest in energy efficiency but they’re also worried they won’t make a return on their investment.  

“And they are right. More environmentally friendly air source heat pumps cost in the region of a staggering £14k to install. 

“Last year, the Prime Minister increased the Boiler Upgrade Scheme to £7,500 so homeowners could replace their gas boiler with a heat pump for around £6,500. But it’s still a huge financial outlay when you compare that to the cost of a new gas boiler from just £2,000.  

“If government is serious about meeting its 2050 net-zero target by banning the sale of new gas boilers by 2035, more long- term incentives such as tax breaks and government grants will be required as many are already struggling with higher mortgage costs and the wider cost of living crisis.

And Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, adds: “The HomeOwners Alliance’s research highlights the cost of energy efficiency improvements as a major barrier but so too is finding a reputable tradesperson. Given an additional 225,000 construction workers will be needed over the next four years the government should be thinking about who’s going to carry out the work and more importantly to what standard. 

“The retrofitting of 29m homes is a golden opportunity to license building companies to give homeowners the confidence they need to retrofit their homes.”

 

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    I have experienced zero obstacles, I am not doing anything, if the big C comes back….. every single one of my tenants will get notice and I will sell them to FTB’s. 💵💵

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    Fortunately, more out of concern for the environment than tenants noticing lower bills (before Putin's gas price hikes - though after the warning given by the Oil Price shock of the 1970s), I got insulations installed when they were free! (From energy companies made to do them.)
    So all that was needed to get a Grade C for two was me fitting all LED bulbs. Other one will probably get a C when it is reassessed ready for sale! I'd like a good grade for that, even if only in case my ideal buyer is also conscious of the EPC grading.

    Lets not forget folks, a 10 year old "expired" EPC doesn't need to be reassessed, as long as the tenants haven't changed. And with the RRB and shortage of stock caused by loss of s21 etc. tenants will probably be staying a lot longer, if they can.
    I had two lots of agents trying to tell me I needed a new EPC because the old one had time-expired, even though same tenants still residing.

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