Proposed Stamp Duty Means Home Efficiency is Vital For Homeowners and Property Buyers

Home efficiency could become even more vital to UK homeowners and those looking to step on to the property ladder if new plans being considered by the Government are given the go-ahead. Home Heating Guide, the UK’s leading online resource for homeowners regarding all domestic central heating, boiler and renewable energy-related issues, is urging people to act fast to save themselves money for the future.

Homebuyers could be forced to pay thousands of pounds extra in stamp duty if they buy a property that doesn’t meet tough climate change targets if the plans are passed.

The higher rate of tax would target homes with inefficient boilers and central heating, no double glazing and insufficient loft and cavity wall insulation. The higher stamp duty would be an incentive to homeowners to upgrade to energy efficient products with the Government under pressure to reach tough emissions targets in the next ten years.

The heightened stamp duty would be introduced alongside the Government’s Green Deal – the £90bn scheme that will give homeowners the money for energy efficient installations which is then paid back over time with the savings made on bills.

The proposal was raised in a report by the Green Investment Bank Commission where it said: “Ultimately, either implementing penalty rates of stamp duty for houses purchased where the buyer does not implement available energy efficient measure or setting minimum standards on properties, will be required.”

Various scenarios of how the tax will work will be under consideration with one being a 0.5 per cent levy on top of the normal stamp duty for those who buy a poorly insulated home. If the relevant upgrades are made to the home within a year of purchase, the owner would then get the additional 0.5 per cent back in the form of a tax rebate.

David Holmes, Home Heating Guide’s founder, said: “The efficiency of your home could soon become a very important factor in selling and buying a property if this scheme is passed.

“With house prices still suffering, anyone looking to go onto the market will want to do everything possible to make their house more appealing to potential buyers. Efficiency might now rank at the top of this list if this tax is given the go-ahead.

“What it will mean is a much greener UK and really it will really force the government’s intention to reduce carbon emissions in the country. As a result the home insulation and home heating industry will have a new drive of demand with more people looking to improve their efficiency rating.”

From 2008, all homes put up for sale had to have an energy performance certificate ranking them on a scale from A for the best, to G for the least efficient.

“The energy performance certificate is going to be more important to home sales if the government is serious about raising the stamp duty for inefficient homes,” added Holmes.

“The Feed-in Tariff has already seen a spike in activity for green companies, but if this new tax was imposed it would certainly bolster the industry. And with the government clearly indicating that they are serious about making UK homes more efficient, it’s now time to look into making the relevant upgrades before firms are hit with a backlog of work.”

Home Heating Guide is dedicated to giving homeowners as much information as possible about how to make your home more efficient with new boilers, insulation and up-to-date central heating systems. For more information, visit www.homeheatinguide.co.uk.

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