Thu, 06 Sep 07
UK homeowners who spend money trying to be eco-friendly by installing a wind turbine on the roof of their home could find themselves faced with a higher council tax, on the grounds that the turbine is a 'home-improving' feature...
And in a double whammy they may also find they don’t save very much energy either. Environmental campaigners have argued that small wind turbines are merely a green fashion statement and don’t produce sufficient energy to make them a worthwhile investment.
An all-party Commons trade and industry committee report warns 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."
The committee raised their concerns of a postcode lottery developing with some councils leading the way forward in green thinking but more than four fifths of councils having no targets in place for renewable energy.
Merely using green projects as a way of raising cash 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.
The wind energy industry has also raised concerns about the value of adding small wind turbines to homes, warning homeowners to look at energy savings in the home before spending out on turbines. See our feature story Is it worthwhile installing a wind turbine?
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