Duty of local authorities to establish energy efficiency discount schemes
129.Section 65 amends the Local Government Finance Act 1992 by inserting new section 80A – Local authority’s power to reduce amount of tax payable. Subsection (1) of section 80A requires local authorities to establish schemes for reducing the amounts which persons are liable to pay in respect of council tax where improvements are made to the energy efficiency of chargeable dwellings. Subsection (2) defines such a scheme as an “energy efficiency discount scheme”.
130.Subsection (3) gives local authorities the discretion to design schemes as they see fit and lists provision which it may in particular include. Subsection (4) states that certain conditions must be met before the amount which a person is liable to pay in respect of council tax may be reduced. Subsections (5) and (6) set out these conditions.
131.Subsection (7) details the minimum reduction which may be provided under an energy efficiency discount scheme. Where that person’s council tax liability is £50 or more, the discount must be no less than £50. Where that person’s council tax liability is less than £50, the discount must be equal to that liability. Subsection (8) allows a local authority, under an energy efficiency discount scheme, to reduce a person’s liability to zero.
132.Subsection (9) contains definitions of expressions, such as “energy efficiency”, used in section 80A.
133.Subsection (3) of section 65 inserts a new paragraph 22 into schedule 2 to the Local Government Finance Act 1992, which provides that a council tax reduction under an energy efficiency discount scheme is to be treated, for the purposes of that schedule, as a discount equal to the amount of the reduction.