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Conservatory Info
Conservatory Info

Threat of ‘Conservatory Tax’ Delayed This March


After the government’s decision to remove the so-called “consequential improvement” rules, a potential legal battle might happen.  The omission of the said rule would have reduced greenhouse gas emissions and motivated the adoption of the Green Deal energy efficiency scheme. This potential legal battle has been postponed until March at the earliest.


The Association for Conservation of Energy has sent a letter to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to respond about the scrapped "Consequential Improvement" rules.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles. Photo from The Telegraph


As reported by Business Green, the Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE) announced early February that it has sent a letter to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles informing him that the group would seek a Judicial Review against the government because of his decision to drop the planned regulations after a number of publications named the measure as ‘conservatory tax’.


As envisioned by a number of councils, the rules would have required homeowners and businesses to undertake significant extensions to commence improvements at the same time thus improving their energy efficiency.  Supporters of the measure argue that they epitomize one of the most cost-effective means of improving energy efficiency. The Green Deal made sure that enhancements could be performed at no upfront cost.


Opponents of the proposal mistakenly named the measure as ‘tax’. Pickles then rejected the plans late 2012 after pointing out that the rules could be unsavory for most people having enhancements done on their properties.


ACE is currently alleging Pickles of failure to provide sufficient reasoning for blocking the proposal that the government’s own projections would provide ₤11 billion worth of economic benefits and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 130 million tonnes.  ACE is also calling out the Secretary of State for using a ‘distorted’ interpretation of research carried out independently regarding the impact of consequential improvement rules that supported Pickle’s decision.


The letter sent by ACE had a 11 February deadline to provide a response regarding the matter with confirmation that he would review the introduction of the rules or face the Judicial Review as a consequence.  Any legal action will no longer happen in February as the Treasury Solicitor wrote to ACE in behalf of Eric Pickles asking for a three-week extension so that the government can provide a response formally.


ACE has submitted the request and the government has only until 1 March to respond.


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