The National Federation of Builders has slammed government plans to require all new homes to have electric vehicle (EV) chargers as another “stealth tax” on construction.
The federation fears the construction industry will foot the bill for chargers while electricity companies benefit.
It said that to achieve planning permission builders are required to fund substations so that electricity companies can provide enough load to new and old developments.
Costs are considerable – upward of £50,000 for a handful of homes – and neither the builder or homeowner profits from this infrastructure because the electricity companies receive revenue in perpetuity from someone else’s investment.
Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB said: “We support the green industry and a green transition because it is a necessary part of change but due to how infrastructure investment works in practice, once again, the Government is seeking to grow its political capital and advance big business, at the expense of the construction industry and taxpayer.”
Rico Wojtulewicz, head of housing at the House Builders Association (HBA), the housebuilding arm of the NFB, said: “This Government has only been in power for two years and has already introduced four new and stealth taxes on the construction industry. EV charging will be the fifth.
“It’s a disgusting way to treat a sector who worked throughout the Covid-19 lockdown to help pay for furlough and the impact of Covid-19.
“The Government needs to think very carefully about how it achieves a green revolution. It must require electricity companies to shoulder this cost, as they will be profiting from these investments in perpetuity.
“Or perhaps it is time to bring services into public ownership because the Government is not proving able to regulate the sector in a way that doesn’t cost the taxpayer.
“As we told the Prime Minister during COP26 in relation to retrofitting and onshore renewable energy, it is time the Conservatives began risking some of their own political capital and not simply expecting taxpayers and business to risk their financial capital. The Governments green legacy is looking like taxation and flawed policy, not revolutionary change.”