UK Green Building Council

Kevin McCloud blasts scaremongering over so-called ‘Conservatory Tax

Date released: 
17 Apr 2012

Architectural expert, green developer and Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud has responded to suggestions that the Government’s plans to require homeowners to enhance the energy efficiency of their homes at the same time as they are making significant building improvements will be scrapped.

McCloud hit out at recent media coverage on the proposals around ‘consequential improvements’ which has mistakenly suggested that people will be taxed for building a new conservatory or extension.

Kevin McCloud said:

“Government’s plans to require homeowners to improve the energy efficiency of their home when they build an extension are about as sensible as sensible gets, especially when the homeowner doesn't have to pay for those improvements. Reading the recent coverage I began to wonder if there was a secret anti-insulation lobby rabidly bent on increasing our domestic fuel bills. Things came to a head with the confabulated notion of a ‘Conservatory Tax’.”

“First, under proposals, conservatories below 30 square metres in size are exempt. Second, common sense prevails in that if projected energy savings fall below the cost of improvements, the homeowner can legitimately refuse to carry them out. Third, the improvements will be eligible for generous Green Deal funding. The Green Deal saves you money. If that makes it a tax, let’s have more of them.”

Paul King, CEO of the UK Green Building Council commented:

"If these plans are to be scrapped as reports are suggesting, this is another u-turn that shows once and for all that a majority of ministers in this Government have no backbone on green issues, even when they save people money, and are good for the economy. "Government has a responsibility to look beyond the ludicrous media headlines. This policy would have helped protect ordinary people from soaring energy costs, as well as reduce carbon emissions to meet its own supposedly legally binding carbon budgets. It was also the best tool in the box for driving forward the Green Deal."

Kevin McCloud has supported UK Green Building Council campaigning on home refurbishment over several years.

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