Opinion Former Article

CPA welcomes action on housing.

Following the launch of the Conservative Party's "Blueprint for a Green Economy" the Construction Products Association has welcomed the recognition by the party of the need for action to improve the environmental performance of homes throughout the country.

The construction products industry is playing a central role in raising the UK's environmental performance whilst helping to safeguard its competitiveness. The Association continues to work to accelerate the uptake of improved environmental designs for new buildings, for example through input to building regulations and the development of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

John Tebbit, Industry Affairs Director, said: "We welcome the recognition within the Conservative's Blueprint for a Green Economy of the need to improve the existing stock. The Association has long been calling for incentives similar to those in the report to encourage homeowners to raise the environmental performance of their home. Responsibility for reducing household emissions must rest primarily with individuals, particularly given that three-quarters of the nation's homes are in private ownership. Nevertheless, government has an important role in educating and motivating households to undertake the necessary investment to raise the existing housing stock up towards the standards of energy efficiency already demanded of new homes.

"The phased introduction of the Home Sellers Packs, which include an Energy Performance Certificate for all homes put up for sale, is providing concise information to owner-occupiers on the energy performance of their home, how it could be improved, and the resultant energy savings. The Association has written to the Chancellor ahead of the pre Budget Report to urge him to adopt proposals that will help convert the increased awareness provided by the Energy Performance Certificates into action.

"The Association has proposed that households undertaking improvements that raise the energy performance of their home by one or more bands should be entitled to either a partial stamp duty rebate or a temporary three year discount on the council tax, equivalent to their property being dropped by one tax band. Such an approach is deliberately non-prescriptive, focussing on the ultimate objective of raising the energy performance of the home. This will minimise the administrative cost of the scheme and enable the homeowner to select and fund the measures that will improve the energy efficiency of their homes."

ENDS

NOTE TO EDITORS:

The Construction Products Association represents the UK's manufacturers and suppliers of construction products, components and fittings. The Association acts as the voice of the construction products sector, representing the industry-wide view of its members. The sector has an annual turnover of £40 billion and accounts for 40% of total construction output.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

John Tebbit Industry Affairs Manager
Construction Products Association
Tel : 020 7323 3770
Fax : 020 7323 0307
E-mail : john.tebbit@constructionproducts.org.uk

Simon Storer External Affairs Director
Construction Products Association
Tel : 020 7323 3770
Fax : 020 7323 0307
Mobile : 0770 286 2257
E-mail : simon.storer@constructionproducts.org.uk

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