Further proof that politicians are taking seriously the Chancellor’s last budget statement: “Energy efficient windows have a major role to play in reducing household energy use and increasing the energy efficiency of existing homes,” surfaced last week, thanks to MP Mark Oaten (Liberal Democrat for Winchester). He tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM 1268) to Government urging cross party political support to reduce VAT Rates on Double Glazed Windows. The EDM reads:
“That this House welcomes the Government's support for domestic energy efficiency, and notes that to encourage energy efficiency, loft and cavity insulation and boiler efficiency are subject to a 5% VAT rate; further notes that 20% of a house's energy is lost through windows, but that energy efficient window replacement is still subject to 17.5% VAT and calls on the Government to encourage use of the most energy saving window products by changing their VAT rate to 5%.”
An Early Day Motion is a motion put down ("tabled") by Members of Parliament calling for a debate on a particular subject. EDMs enable MPs to draw attention to an issue and to canvass support for their views by inviting other Members to add their signatures in support of the motion. The more MPs sign up to an EDM, the more chance there is of it becoming a ‘prayer’. A prayer is then debated with the aim of overturning existing laws. So far 20 MPs have signed up in support.
Andy Jones, Managing Director of Edgetech UK welcomed the news: “This latest statement is tangible evidence that politicians are taking seriously our collective drive for parity in the VAT rates of energy saving products. Now it’s up to us as an industry to demonstrate our commitment. I urge anyone whose MP has not signed up to this EDM to do so as soon as possible. It’s fast and easy. Just type in http://edmi.parliament.uk or click this link: http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=33036&SESSION=885 and you’ll see if your MP has signed up. If they haven’t, do what Edgetech and Listers have done and write to them to do so.”
Mark Warren, Director of Lister Trade Frames adds: “This is one of the biggest opportunities our industry has had to date, and we are fast approaching a turning point. By investing literally 30 minutes of your time - and Edgetech has made this easier by including a template letter which can be copied – we can re-invigorate the industry at home owner level. A reduced VAT rate will go a long way towards helping our industry with the replacing the replacements challenge. Listers has already written to our local MP and I urge all other readers to do the same.”
Andy Jones of Edgetech sums up: “EDMs have limited shelf life and as an industry we need to capitalise now. In fact, our own MP for Coventry North East Bob Ainsworth has yet to sign up, so we have sent the letter available here for others to amend and use for themselves. Many of us, like Synseal and Aluplast have been lobbying actively to get to this point, so let’s see Geoff Hoon and Andrew Robathan put their money where mouth is too.”