Kingfisher welcomes the UK Government's recently announced £1bn package to improve energy efficiency and cut fuels bills among low income households. A key Sustainability Goal for Kingfisher is to help its customers create more sustainable homes. Kingfisher's operating companies are now working to deliver this by extending their range of energy saving products and providing advice on efficiency.
Kingfisher's largest UK operating company, B&Q UK, is already leading the way with its Energy Efficiency Made Easy campaign, which has run for the past two years. In line with Government objectives to promote loft and cavity wall insulation among low income households, B&Q UK has been offering insulation products and services at significantly reduced rates throughout 2008. This will help to ensure that customers can play a part in reducing household emissions at the same time as cutting their own costs.
Whilst welcoming the new Government package, Kingfisher continues to call for reform of the EU VAT Directive to allow a reduced rate of VAT to apply to energy-saving goods that customers fit themselves. Kingfisher believes that the standard rate discriminates against families who cannot afford to pay a professional to install materials, but would like to be energy-efficient. Reform of the Directive would further promote energy efficiency and help reduce household energy costs.
Chief Executive Ian Cheshire said: "As a leading retailer we have a responsibility to take action to tackle climate change and work towards a sustainable future. We recognise the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency and for some time now our products and advice have been helping our customers reduce their energy use and costs. We are working together with the Government to drive change, but we believe it could be accelerated further with a reduction of VAT on energy-saving products."
See climate change for further information on initiatives across the Group to promote energy saving products to consumers.