Lib Dems propose council tax discount for greener homes

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Plans set to be proposed by the Liberal Democrat party this week could see homeowners get a discount on their council tax bill if they can improve their home's energy efficiency.

Under the plans due to be announced by Energy Secretary Ed Davey, Brits willing to improve their home with measures such as loft insulation, double glazing or a more energy efficient boiler could benefit from a council tax bill reduced by £100.

But in order to qualify for the discount, they would need to increase their property's energy efficiency rating by two bands.

According to the Daily Mail, the policy could end up costing taxpayers £300 million a year, but the Lib Dems hope the promise of a council tax discount along with reduced energy bills would incentivise British homeowners to help the nation reach its target of slashing carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

The proposed plans would allow even those claiming on government loan schemes to take advantage of the council tax discount.

However, the Green Deal scheme, which offered loans for those looking to improve their home's energy efficiency, was ultimately disappointing, with only 1,815 installations completed by the end of July. And with the costs of wall insulation ranging from £4,000 to £10,000, and a new boiler in the region of £2,000, whether a £100 reduction in council tax will be enough to entice people to improve their homes, no matter what the energy bill savings may be, is an unknown.

Mr Davey said: "The cheapest way to make rapid progress in cutting our emissions is by saving the energy we now waste.

"Liberal Democrats have already helped many people to save energy and keep their bills down, and we are on track to meet our target of improving the energy efficiency of one million homes, but this major new tax incentive would mean we could go much further in the next parliament."

Ahead of the 2015 general election, Labour have put forward plans for a 20-month energy bill freeze, while the Conservative party has offered to cut green taxes on household utility bills.

What do you think? Would a council tax discount encourage you to make your home more energy efficient? Leave your comments below...
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