Rockwool boss in Green Deal VAT plea

Grant Prior 13 years ago
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Rockwool managing director Hans Schreuder  wants to see VAT on refurbishment work slashed by the Government to kick-start its ambitious Green Deal programme.

Schreuder believes that cutting the tax rate on refurbishment will encourage homeowners to take part in the Green Deal drive to improve the energy efficiency of 26 million dwellings.

And he wants to see tax breaks and incentives tied to the use of approved installers to stop cowboys cashing-in on the initiative.

He told the Enquirer: “The whole Green Deal programme is potentially a massive new market  but it will need something to kick-start it .

“Paying less stamp duty for energy efficient homes would be a real incentive. So would cutting the rate of VAT for this type of improvement work.

“People should have to use an authorised installer to benefit from the VAT cut but that would stop cowboy firms moving in.

“Tax breaks don’t cost the Government – just look at the car scrappage scheme and how that stimulated the market.

“This is a great opportunity for the Government.

“It has launched the Green Deal to create a massive new industry and can give that a helping hand with tax breaks.

“That would also help the private sector led recovery in the construction industry.”

The Green Deal will give homes and businesses cash up front to improve buildings with the cost being recouped via lower energy bills.

The Confederation of British Industry is backing the plan but has reservations over how it will work in practice.

Dr Neil Bentley, CBI Deputy Director-General, said: “The Green Deal is a good idea, but risks becoming a lame duck unless the government tackles the big questions of financing and uptake.

“The government faces an uphill challenge convincing home owners to sign up to the Green Deal, given that three-quarters admit they don’t consider energy efficiency when looking at a property.”

Initiatives like the Green Deal will see the balance of Rockwool’s turnover shift to see refurbishment work account for more than 50% of business for the first time.

A whole new raft of contractors are entering the energy efficiency market and Schreuder believes more will follow.

He said: “We have seen deals recently like Carillion’s move for Eaga and British Gas buying contractors.

“That trend will only grow because everyone sees the potential in the market.”

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