Natwest calls for stamp duty rebate to fund green home improvements
The government should offer a rebate on stamp duty to fund energy efficiency plans for new homeowners, Natwest has argued.
Lloyd Cochrane, head of mortgages at Natwest, told City A.M., that home purchases should be used as a “moment to incentivise” retrofitting homes with new insulation.
He said: “This is why we are calling for a stamp duty rebate, allowing households to reclaim the cost of their retrofit against their stamp duty in a two year window after the purchase.”
However, he warned that this policy would only work if more people are trained to retrofit homes and supply chains for essential energy efficiency materials are unclogged.
“None of this will happen at scale until and unless we solve the supply chain and skills bottlenecks, which are currently holding the retrofit market back. This is an area I am personally keen to unlock this year, and look forward to working with [The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy] to do so,” Cochrane explained.
Cochrane’s comments follow the publication of Natwest’s Greener Homes Attitude Tracker, shared first with City A.M., which shows that cost-of-living concerns have dampened customer hopes of retrofitting their homes.
The quarterly survey – based on responses from 4,500 people across the UK – revealed that over a quarter (26 per cent) of squeezed households are less likely to implement energy efficiency measures in the next 12 months
The cost of the work required remains by far the biggest barrier to implementing green home improvements, cited by 71 per cent of homeowners who had no plans to make changes to their property over the next decade.
The government has established £12.6bn worth of support for energy efficiency measures, as part of plans to cut the UK’s energy usage by 15 per cent by the end of the decade.
But Natwest is calling on them to bring in specific policies such as a Green Stamp Duty, which can be more targeted towards key periods of time when people are looking at home improvements.
When approached for comment by City A.M., a government spokesperson said: “Thanks to government support, the number of homes with an energy efficiency rating of C or above has gone from 13 per cent in 2010 to 46 per cent and rising.
“We are investing over £6.6bn in this parliament with a further £6bn committed to 2028 to help decarbonise homes and buildings, and to ensure all homes meet EPC band C by 2035. The Energy Company Obligation will help hundreds of thousands of families with energy-saving measures such as insulation, with average energy bill savings of around £300 a year.”