Parties pledge support for energy efficiency home improvements

With the political parties setting out their plans for the next Parliament, we’ve been through a selection of the manifestos published this week to see what they’ve got to say about building efficiency and the need to encourage homeowners and landlords to improve the energy performance of the nation’s housing stock.

The Labour Party promises to make available a million interest-free loans to help householders make their homes more energy efficient if it wins the general election on 7 May.

In its Manifesto, the party also pledges to make 200,000 low-income homes warm every year, delivered street-by-street by local authorities and community organisations. And it says that privately rented properties will have to meet a decency standard, bringing warmth to a further three million homes.

The Conservative Party Manifesto, meanwhile, says that the party will support low-cost measures on energy efficiency, with the goal of insulating a million more homes over the next five years.

According to the Liberal Democrats, Energy prices in Britain are lower than the EU average but our bills are higher because our homes are so poorly insulated. The party pledges to ensure that at least four million homes are improved by 2020.

The LibDem Manifesto goes into further detail, setting out plans for a Green Buildings Act which would include a Council Tax discount for significant improvements in energy efficiency in homes, as well as targets for all social and private rented homes to reach Energy Performance Certificate Band C by 2027, and a statutory target to bring the homes of all fuel-poor households to Band C by 2027.

The proposed legislation would also allow the government to introduce new energy efficiency and heat saving regulations to reduce heat and energy use. And it would create a legal framework requiring regulators to facilitate the development of deep geothermal heat, large-scale heat pumps, waste industrial heat and energy storage systems.

Lastly, the Green Party Manifesto features a pledge to reduce VAT on housing renovation and repair work (including insulation) to 5%, a policy which it says would cost £1.6 billion a year.

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