Just lately it’s almost like a string of bad jokes, 20% on pasties, buy your fuel while you can, but have you heard the latest to come out of Westminster? Households face being hit with extra bills for home improvements under “green” plans proposed by the government. Residents wanting to replace boilers, get some new windows put in or build a conservatory or extension could be blocked unless they carry out other work such as loft and wall insulation.
The proposals, which are aimed at reducing the UK’s carbon footprint, could potentially hike up bills by as much as 10%, reports the Daily Mail. Residents struggling to meet the costs could borrow the money from the government under the coalition’s green deal scheme repaying the amount back through extra charges on energy bills. The proposed rules are said to be mandatory, coming into force from April 2014, unless homes already have a high energy performance rating.
Homeowners wishing to replace a boiler or build a conservatory will have to notify their local authority, who can then tell them to carry out the work as a condition of approval. Measures listed by Whitehall include: loft or cavity insulation, hot water cylinder insulation and draft proofing.
In my own opinion, this is another attempt by the government to control every aspect of our lives, admittedly over time homeowners would see the benefits of the improvements but with the initial outlay or the repayment of borrowed money it would take a while to break even. Predictably this new move has been met with opposition from every angle, with most taking the “Don’t tell me what to do in my own home” stance. Surely the better option would be an optional scheme rather than a mandatory one, where if homeowners choose to improve their households energy rating with the suggested measures, then there is some sort of bonus scheme like a 50% reduction in your energy bills until you make back your initial expenditure. I fear that if these plans do come into force as they are with no revisions then it could be one of he final nails in the coalition’s coffin.