Skip to main content

Our working group for policy came together at the beginning of the month to host its first of three sessions this year. Marking the group’s second meeting since the NHDG’s inception, members were not short of discussion points. Whether it was present or future policy, plenty of thoughts and opinions made for a productive assembly of knowledgeable and interested professionals.

One of the strengths of our working group for policy is that the shared industry insight and awareness is substantial. This creates the opportunity to explore existing ideas that have been endorsed or raised by the industry, so that those aligning with our views can be supported – with the confidence that the majority of viewpoints and options have been considered.

While members of the NHDG may not always have exactly the same opinion on all things retrofit, they are likeminded in their focus on long-term policy, and their belief that fiscal reform can create sustainable incentives to invest in energy efficiency. With policy impacting housing tenures differently, the working group looked at them individually, and some stood out from the crowd.


High on the agenda was the Energy Saving Stamp Duty Incentive (ESSDI) – a proposal to make stamp duty less for homes with better energy efficiency. Moreover, this idea includes the suggestion to offer a stamp duty rebate to homeowners who choose to undertake low energy improvements within two years and obtain an updated EPC.

This proposal has gained worthy attention and there is a long list of organisations in support, many of which are inspired by the benefits it is capable of offering. These include the creation of a more competitive market without the need for grant support, and the longevity that will reassure businesses operating and investing in the home retrofit market.

Despite the ESSDI not being a brand-new idea, it continues to generate discussion, potentially owing to its potential. We expect this is one to keep an eye on in 2024.


Among the ideas both big and small discussed for the private-rented sector was income tax reform – as a way to enable landlords to deduct energy saving improvements from the income tax they pay on their rented properties.

While there will be supporters and critics of this option, which will no doubt become more vocal as the next general election edges closer, there are benefits that should offer some level of optimism for all. From reduced exposure to health hazards as well as improved comfort and affordability for renters, through to increased property value for landlords, there is a variety of reasons this idea remains a talking point.

Social housing

Different policies already exist across the different housing tenures, and, in some instances, they are already very well-intentioned – which is positive for registered providers and residents alike.

However, policies are never indefinite and there remains a requirement to analyse their impact. At present, the installation of energy-saving measures by social housing providers is taxed at a zero-rate of VAT. While this is progressive in principle, for it to reach its full potential there is sections of the retrofit industry seeking clarity on how it is applied. For example, some questions include whether it is applied per measure, does it apply to whole house retrofit, and does it apply in large social housing retrofit projects?

Will this opportunity for registered providers support the realisation of decarbonisation in social housing alone? Our answer would be probably not. That said, it will undoubtedly help the cause and should be made as easy to understand and as actionable as possible so that it can have the best chance of success.

Our policy

Part of our own policy is to give equal attention to decarbonisation policy, training and innovation. Harnessing the active interest and involvement of our members that represent more than 80% of the large-scale domestic retrofit projects being carried out in the UK, we’re confident that we can continue to influence and inspire the brightest future for our home decarbonisation industry and the millions of people that it impacts.

For more news, visit