Warning over tax impact of wind turbinesCommittee says homeowners should not be penalised
30 January 2007
Homeowners who spend money on eco-friendly wind turbines may face higher council taxes, MPs warned today.
An all-party Commons trade and industry committee report says that "if home owners invest in solar panels, wind turbines or energy efficiency measures, this is likely to increase the value of their properties and result in higher council tax bills."
That is the wrong approach, the report says, suggesting that central and local government must reduce the barriers faced by people and organisations that want to exploit local low-carbon energy sources. It says: "Given the potential climate change and security benefits of such investments, homeowners should not be penalised in this way."
Low carbon energy
The MPs call on Government and local authorities to do more to encourage ways in which individuals and communities can produce their own low-carbon energy.
The committee is concerned that less than a fifth of local authorities have in place targets for renewable energy. While pioneering councils such as Woking and Merton are leading the way, many still lag behind, it says.
The report calls on the UK's larger cities to learn from current experience in London and to establish their own strategies for tackling carbon dioxide emissions.
Chairman Peter Luff says: "Local energy is a developing concept with real potential.
"However, it must be remembered that it is not a panacea that will "keep the lights on" in the short-term. It is a long-term project, which the Government and local authorities must do more to support."
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