A Green Tax on DIY Conservatories a Red Tape Nightmare?

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New green tax could make a DIY conservatory and other home improvements dramatically more expensive from 2014 says http://www.conservatories.tv A brand of u-fit, DIY conservatory manufacturers.

Green Tax on Conservatories a Red Tape Nightmare?
Source: DECC summary 'Green Deal proposals

Anyone thinking of installing a new DIY Conservatory may wish to move fast. If they choose to wait until 2014 they may find a tangle of ‘green’ red tape wrapped around their DIY conservatory project along with having to pay hundreds of pounds extra.

Under plans currently being discussed by the coalition Government, a homeowner wanting to install a conservatory from 2014 may also have to invest in other energy efficient projects within their home. To install a DIY conservatory may require special planning permission that will only be granted on the proviso that the house has also been fully insulated.
Under the proposals set out in the green deal DECC proposal, from 2014 a property owner wanting to install a DIY conservatory would have to use an accredited inspector to ensure that double glazed windows have been fitted and that the property has sufficient loft and cavity wall insulation prior to commencing the work.

Why the Change?
This scheme is part of the Green Deal proposals set out by the DECC, which aims to insulate all homes within the next 20 years. This policy was embraced by Chris Huhne, previously Minister for Energy Change before being forced to resign for perverting the course of justice in February 2012 over a speeding offence.

The aim of Mr Huhne’s 2011 Energy Act is to achieve a large scale reduction in the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) given off by buildings. This whirlwind of legislation comes off the back of the 2008 Climate Change Act which was taken out by Tony Blair and the last Government. The act which is the only one of its kind in the world commits the UK to cutting its CO2 emissions within 40 years by an amazing 80%.

Mr Huhne stated in his forward to the Green Deal summary proposal that ‘Under the Green Deal, bill payers will be able to get energy efficiency improvements without having to front up the cash. Instead, businesses will provide the capital, getting their money back via the energy bill. At the heart of the offer is a simple rule: estimated savings on bills will always equal or exceed the cost of the work’.

Interestingly, later within the same proposal comes this statement; ‘However, actual cash savings cannot be guaranteed by Government since no-one except individuals and businesses themselves can control how much energy they actually consume in their own property’.

That is the crux of the matter; the Government is unable to verify any cash saving to the consumer.

Although the DECC does state elsewhere, ‘Lower income and vulnerable households may not save money through energy efficiency because many do not have the heating turned on long enough to heat their homes sufficiently, so increased efficiency may mean they will enjoy warmer homes rather than cash savings’

Presumably then the homeowner can relax in a warmer home and take solace in the fact that through no choice of his own, higher energy bills are supposedly helping reduce climate change.

A typical scenario involving the installation of a DIY conservatory, would involve a complete property assessment by an accredited advisor who would make a recommendation for any insulation improvements. It is unclear at this stage who would visit the property when a DIY conservatory is proposed or whether the home owner doing the work themselves could self regulate by working to the Green Deal’s code of practice.

Should the homeowner have insufficient funds to finance the up- front cost, they can apply to take out a Green Deal finance loan. This loan would be secured against the property’s energy bills with the current occupier servicing the loan. The installer of the Green Deal receives their payment directly from the energy supplier and the consumer will pay the energy/finance company in their monthly bills.

John Armstrong Director of http://www.conservatories.tv said; ‘A choice of how to spend your money is being denied to every homeowner. You could be forced to take out a loan for energy efficiency measures that lamentably will have a miniscule effect on global CO2 emissions. Maybe if the government choose to reward, rather than fine homeowners’ then people would choose where to put their money.’

So it may really be a legitimate case that there has never been a better time to buy a DIY conservatory.

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