STOP the VAT on Eco-Retrofit

STOP the VAT on Eco-Retrofit

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Homes in the UK are responsible for about 15% of total carbon emissions, with heating responsible for over 60% of energy use. With the current climate emergency and the serious risk of runaway global warming, there is an urgent need to eco-retrofit our homes to radically reduce emissions.


It is widely accepted that deep, low-energy retrofit costs between £30-50,000 per dwelling. Despite the significant benefits of lower bills and increased comfort, at present very little retrofit is taking place. Up to £55 billion pounds is spent annually on home improvements in the UK but very little of this work is aimed at reducing carbon emissions. In fact, much of this work may actually be increasing emissions by enlarging dwellings without reducing their overall energy use.


With the lack of any significant funding for a UK retrofit programme and homeowners (private and social) obliged to pay 20% VAT on all works to existing homes (with only a few exceptions) there is a strong disincentive to carry out deep retrofit works.


The removal (zero-rating) of VAT on building projects to existing homes that are based on a demonstrable deep, low-carbon eco-retrofit would act as a major stimulus to the market with the potential of achieving significant reductions in carbon emissions.


In the run-up to COP26 in November 2020 we call on the government to take action by removing VAT on deep, low carbon eco-retrofit.