Gas and electricity Updated:
The Government has been urged to remove VAT from energy efficient appliances and to consider the introduction of a car-industry-style scrappage scheme in order to both help the environment and households cut their energy bills.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) believes such measures will create an attractive incentive for households to switch to low emissions-generating products.
The net result will not only see an improvement in the energy efficiency of UK homes, but will help people reduce their fuel costs too.
Amongst its proposals to the Chancellor ahead of the autumn Pre-Budget Report, the BRC said: "A clear signal should be given to households of the benefits of a switch to the most energy efficient products…..this could be kick started through time-limited scrappage schemes for those buying 'Energy Saving Recommended' products."
With homes thought to be responsible for 27% of the nation's carbon emissions, Stephen Robertson, director general at the BRC, believes helping householders to improve their performance is a logical step.
Fifteen million fridges, freezers and washing machines in the UK are over ten years old but it is claimed a modern, efficient fridge-freezer uses less than half the energy of a 1995 model.
"Over its lifetime it can pay for itself but having to find the cost up front puts customers off upgrading, particularly in a recession," added Robertson.
"Removing VAT and exploring the possibility of a scrappage scheme would do a lot to get old energy and water-squandering appliances out of people's homes."
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