Give Scots a council tax rebate in exchange for home energy efficiency

energy-efficiency-stockScots who make their homes more energy efficient should get a Council Tax rebate, according to a new report.

Research from the Consumer Futures Unit of Citizens Advice Scotland showed a £500 rebate the year following the installation of energy efficiency measures was significantly more popular than £100 pa for ten years, or than a Land & Buildings Transaction Tax rebate.

The report, which has been published today, aims to ensure that people across Scotland play their part in the new Scottish Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP) which is being developed by the Scottish Government.

It said that substantial efforts should be made to lead and transform public opinion on the real benefits of installing energy efficiency measures.

The report adds that the success of SEEP will depend on people taking steps to improve the energy efficiency of their homes, and that they should be given meaningful incentives to do so.

Kate Morrison, energy manager of the Consumer Futures Unit, said: “We support SEEP and are keen to make sure that it helps people across Scotland to take action to make their homes more energy efficient. That’s why we have undertaken new consumer research to ensure SEEP is designed around the way people will interact with it.

“If the ultimate objective of SEEP is to upgrade all homes to a Band C energy rating, around one million owner-occupiers in Scotland will need to upgrade their homes. The Scottish Government therefore needs to persuade people of the benefits of installing energy efficiency measures, and design a scheme that makes it easy for them to take action, and incentivises them to do so.

“Our research suggests the most popular incentive for householders would be a prompt £500 Council Tax rebate the year after upgrading their properties. This would be a national policy so it would entail government providing support to Local Authorities to enable them to make these rebates available.

“We believe that creative and innovative ideas are necessary to persuade people to make the necessary changes to their homes in the interests of making SEEP a success. This report is our contribution to that discussion.”

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