Magazine article The Spectator

How to Warm Your Mansion with Other People's Money

Magazine article The Spectator

How to Warm Your Mansion with Other People's Money

Article excerpt

Let no one say this is not a redistributive government. It is taking benefits away from the poor and giving them instead to people with large houses and a bit of spare capital. How? Through a great green energy scam, originally devised by Labour, which could not be better designed to penalise the poor and reward the rich. In fact, the government might just as well have come up with Spat Credits or a Top Hat Top-Up Allowance.

Here is a brief guide to benefits for the better-off.

Got a roof space the size of half a football pitch? You can coin it by covering it with 4kW worth of photovoltaic panels, thereby qualifying you for a 41.3p handout from your electricity company for every kilowatt-hour of electricity you produce. Not only that:

you will earn a further 3p per kilowatthour for any of this electricity that you sell back to the national grid. The outlay is prohibitive for homeowners of modest means. But, if you have the capital, a £15,000 array of 21 panels will earn you just under £1,500 a year in payments, all subsidised by electricity customers who don't have the roof space or can't afford the outlay. Yes, that is a return of nearly 10 per cent - tax-free. What's more, that payment is guaranteed for 25 years and is index-linked to the retail price index.

Middle-class and mourning the loss of your child benefit from 2013? Don't worry: just get yourself a different kind of baby - a biomass boiler. That will qualify you for payments under the Renewable Heat Incentive, due to begin in June. …

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