Lowering or cancelling VAT for energy efficiency retrofit works to bring them more in line with new builds should be prioritized over the current arrangements, where it’s cheaper to demolish and rebuild, experts have argued.
The Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, an independent body set up to advise the government on how to promote high-quality design in developing new homes and neighbourhoods, believes that existing buildings should be taxed more fairly, noting VAT is currently charged at 20% on repair, maintenance and adaptation work to existing buildings – it says this contrasts with new builds, which are not charged VAT.
This means in many cases it is cheaper to knock a building down and rebuild it rather than retrofit it, even though the former may be more environmentally intensive – the report says ‘the greenest building is the one that is already built’ and highlights as the built environment sector is currently responsible for up to 40% of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions, more needs to be done to encourage greener practices.
It notes building a new two-bedroom house emits the equivalent of 80 tonnes of carbon dioxide, whereas refurbishment uses only eight tonnes on average.
The report states: “It is desirable to make better use of existing buildings in city centres given not only the colossal challenges facing traditional urban-based business but critically the need to better use finite natural resources. We want to dispel the perception that renovation represents poor value for money in comparison with demolition and reconstruction.”
HeatingSave – the building management system (BMS) of choice for retrofit projects
Energy management systems might represent a sizeable investment for any household, but the rapidly rising energy prices can actually deliver a very rapid return on investment, experts in the field have argued.
Home owners who are serious about slashing their energy bills will need to consider retrofitting their premises in some way, whether we’re talking about putting in renewable energy measures or more complex Building Energy Management Systems.
An energy management and monitoring system can help households stay on top of their energy usage and reduce their overall bills by running their light/heating systems in an optimum manner.
If you’d like to find out just how easy it is for you to reduce spending, cut carbon emissions and save in excess of 30% on your energy bills, then contact us, and we’ll be more than happy to provide you all the necessary information.