On Monday 28 November, Business and Energy Secretary Grant Shapps launched a government push to help millions of people across the country bring down their energy costs for this winter and beyond.
It is part of wider action this week across energy policy to help the UK meet its ambition of becoming energy independent.
Under plans announced, the new ECO+ scheme will extend support to those who do not currently benefit from any other government support to upgrade their homes. Joining the existing £6.6 billion ‘Help to Heat’ energy schemes this new £1 billion funding will ensure hundreds of thousands more households benefit from new home insulation and with that, lower bills.
Plus a new £18 million public information campaign will also offer technical tips and advice for people to cut their energy use, while also keeping warm this winter. Alongside the impact on their bills from the Energy Price Guarantee, the campaign will demonstrate how consumers can make significant savings.
Of the £1 billion funding available through the new ECO+ scheme, around 80% of the funding will be made available for those households who are in some of the least energy-efficient homes in the country – that is, those with an EPC rating of D or below – and in the lower Council Tax bands.
This will benefit those households who do not currently benefit from any other government support to upgrade their homes. Around a fifth of the fund will also be targeted to those who are the most vulnerable, including those on means tested benefits or in fuel poverty.
On top of this, the government will significantly expand its Help for Households campaign to help customers to reduce their own household energy usage and bills, while also giving vulnerable groups the right information for doing this without harming their health.
This includes promoting some of the government’s top recommended actions to help households save money on their energy bills, such as:
It also comes ahead of the Business and Energy Secretary setting out his latest package of measures to deliver home-grown, affordable energy – helping to cut bills and bolster the country’s long-term energy security and independence.
Business and Energy Secretary Grant Shapps said:
The government put immediate help in place to support households in the wake of global energy price rises caused by Putin’s illegal march on Ukraine. Today, we launch the first of many measures to ensure the British public are never put in this position again as we work towards an energy independent future.
A new ECO scheme will enable thousands more to insulate their homes, protecting the pounds in their pockets, and creating jobs across the country.
And in the short term, our new public information campaign will also give people the tools they need to reduce their energy use while keeping warm this winter.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt said:
With Putin’s war driving up gas prices worldwide, I know many families are feeling worried about their energy bills this winter and beyond. Our extensive energy support package is insulating people from the worst of this crisis, but we’re also supporting people to permanently cut their costs.
In the longer term, we need to make Britain more energy independent by generating more clean, affordable, home-grown power, but we also need more efficient homes and buildings.
Our new ECO+ scheme will help hundreds of thousands of people across the UK to better insulate their homes to reduce consumption, with the added benefit of saving families hundreds of pounds each year.
Making homes more energy efficient is the best way to cut household energy use and is already helping reduce household energy bills, while also creating jobs across the country.
Since it was launched in January 2013, the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) schemes have delivered as many as 3.5 million energy-efficiency measures in around 2.4 million homes. The ECO+ scheme, which will run from spring 2023 for up to 3 years, extends that support even further and will see hundreds of thousands of households receive new insulation, saving them around £310 a year.
By rolling out predominantly low-cost insulation measures such as loft insulation and cavity wall insulation, the ECO+ scheme will support the government’s new ambition to reduce the UK’s final energy consumption from buildings and industry by 15% by 2030. The £1 billion scheme is backed by a new £6 billion investment to contribute to the existing £6.6 billion energy efficiency funding pot.
The new funding pot will also provide long-term funding certainty across for the industry, supporting the growth of supply chains and green jobs in the sector, as the government takes further action to tackle fuel poverty and reduce energy bills.
Improving the energy efficiency of UK homes is a crucial part of the government’s strategy. Thanks to government support so far, the number of homes with an energy efficiency rating of C or above is at 46% and rising, up from just 13% in 2010. We are investing over £6.6 billion over this Parliament to help decarbonise homes and buildings, and to ensure all homes meet EPC band C by 2035. An additional £6 billion of new government funding will be made available from 2025 to 2028. Further details on allocation of additional funding will follow in due course.
To further support households and help meet the government’s new energy demand reduction target, the government has also expanded its public awareness campaign to help reduce bills for households and protect vulnerable people over the winter and beyond. Backed by £18 million, this campaign will complement existing government support schemes. such as the Energy Price Guarantee and the Energy Bills Support Scheme and the information provided will save households money. For example, if a typical household reduced their boiler flow temperature from 75⁰C to 60⁰C and turned down radiators in empty rooms, they could save £160 a year on their energy bill at current prices. This also has the benefit of reducing the temperature a boiler heats water to before sending it to radiators, while making no difference to the temperature a room is actually heated to.
Information will be available on the existing Help for Households website.
The government is delivering a new energy demand reduction target announced at the Autumn Statement to reduce energy demand by 15% by 2030.
The £6 billion of new government funding to back this target will be made available from 2025 to 2028.
This provides long-term funding certainty, supporting the growth of supply chains, and ensuring we can scale up our delivery over time.
Further details on allocation for this additional funding will follow in due course.
This is on top of £6.6 billion of existing spend in this parliament through Help to Heat schemes including the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, Home Upgrade Grant and Local Authority Delivery Scheme.
The existing ECO scheme (known as ECO4) is targeted at those who need support most; those in social housing, on a low-income or fuel poor. However, with the significant increase in energy bills, the government intends up to 80% of ECO+ to help a wider customer base who are currently not eligible for support under existing government-backed energy efficiency schemes.
The UK Government intends to lay necessary legislation for the scheme to launch in spring 23 and run until March 26. However, the government also plans to work with energy suppliers to explore the potential for some earlier delivery in 2023.
The consultation will run from 28 November to 23 December.
SWLA encourage landlords to take part in the consulation here; https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/design-of-the-energy-company-obligation-eco-2023-2026
Article by gov.uk
The Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt MP announced measures to restore stability to the economy, protect high-quality public services and build long-term prosperity for the UK with confirmation that the increased threshold to Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) will be phased out by 31 March 2025.
The nil-rate of SDLT was raised in September 2022 to £250,000 for all purchasers of residential property in England and Northern Ireland and increased the nil-rate threshold paid by first-time buyers from £300,000 to £425,000.
The Energy Price Guarantee, which caps a typical energy bill at £2,500, will continue to provide support from April 2023 with the cap rising to £3,000.
More than eight million households on means-tested benefits will receive a cost-of-living payment of £900 in instalments, with £300 for pensioners and £150 for people on disability benefits.
A £13.6 billion package of support was included for business rates payers in England. To protect businesses from rising inflation the multiplier will be frozen in 2023-24 while relief for 230,000 businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure sectors was also increased from 50% to 75% in 2023.
To also help businesses adjust to the revaluation of their properties, which takes effect from April 2023, a £1.6 billion Transitional Relief scheme was announced to cap bill increases for those who will see higher bills.
This limits bill increases for the smallest properties to 5%. Businesses seeing lower bills as a result of the revaluation will benefit from that decrease in full immediately, with the Chancellor abolishing downward transitional relief caps. Small businesses who lose eligibility for either Small Business or Rural Rate Relief as a result of the new property revaluations will see their bill increases capped at £50 a month through a new separate scheme worth over £500 million.
Working age benefits will rise by 10.1%, and the Triple Lock on pensions will be protected, meaning pensioners will also get a rise in the State Pension and the Pension Credit in line with inflation.
The National Living Wage will be increased by 9.7% to £10.42 an hour.
The UK Government is limiting the rent increase for people in social housing in England and will only be able to rise by a maximum of 7% in 2023-2024.
Homeowners on Universal Credit will be able to apply for Support for Mortgage Interest loans after three months instead of nine months, including those in employment. This will come into effect in Spring 2023.
The threshold at which higher earners start to pay the 45p rate will be reduced from £150,000 to £125,140, while Income Tax, Inheritance Tax and National Insurance thresholds will be frozen for a further two years until April 2028.
The Dividend Allowance will be reduced from £2,000 to £1,000 next year, and £500 from April 2024 and the Annual Exempt Amount in capital gains tax will be reduced from £12,300 to £6,000 next year and then to £3,000 from April 2024.
The threshold for employer National Insurance contributions will be fixed until April 2028, but the Employment Allowance will continue to protect 40% of businesses from paying any NICS at all.
Confirmation that Corporation Tax will still increase to 25% from April 2023.
Electric vehicles will no longer be exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty from April 2025.
Energy Efficiency Task Force
A new long-term commitment to drive improvements in energy efficiency to bring down bills was also announced, with an ambition to reduce the UK’s final energy consumption from buildings and industry by 15% by 2030 against 2021 levels.
New UK Government funding worth £6 billion will be made available from 2025 to 2028, in addition to the £6.6 billion already pledged. The Task Force will be charged with delivering energy efficiency across the economy.
Article Abridged from ARLA Propertymark
There is a shortage of homes in Plymouth – can you help?
Demand for private rented accommodation has seen significant increases over the past 2 years. At the same time we are seeing an increasing number of households approaching us as homeless or at serious risk of homelessness. There are more single persons, couples and families than ever in temporary accommodation including bed and breakfast, waiting to move on to a home.
Plymouth City Council are reaching out to you as we believe you are either a landlord, or agent, who may be able to help be a part of the solution!
If you have under-occupied buildings such as HMO’s, if you have tenants that are moving out and need to organise re-letting, or if you have ideas on what could work better, then we want to hear from you.
The below link will take you to a form which will capture information surrounding either vacancies you currently hold, or are anticipating in the near future, and also allows you to make suggestions regarding longer-term solutions. The form only takes a couple of minutes to complete and could save you time and money by helping you to occupy your building.
We also have 2 existing schemes in the City which means you may be able to help with the current shortage of homes.
1 If you are interested in leasing your property to us at a guaranteed monthly rental please contact firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance with the subject title Houselet.
2) Owners of empty properties who are interested in letting their properties to those in need of accommodation in the city can contact Plymouth Homes4Let (PH4L): https://www.ph4l.co.uk/ PH4L is a local letting agency that works with the Council, managing properties on behalf of owners.
Thanks in advance and we look forward to hearing from you.
Article by Plymouth City Council
SWLA Trade Point Members receive 10% off on top of these deals. All Black Friday deals are whilst stock lasts.
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A report by the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) on the Income Tax rules for residential property income. The report looks into the common issues and concerns facing taxpayers and outlines several key recommendations for change.