Spending on home energy efficiency measures rose by 4% between 2013 and the end of 2014, according to a new report on ethical spending habits.
The Ethical Consumer Markets Report 2015, compiled by the Ethical Consumer Research Association (ECRA), recorded an increase in purchases of green appliances, which rose by 7% to reach £2.3 billion in 2014. Energy efficient boilers also experienced growth after spending reached just under £3 billion in 2014, while efficient light bulb sales rose by 13% to £79 million.
The report also found that electric, hybrid and other Tax Band A rated cars rose substantially in popularity throughout 2014, with sales increasing by 40% to just under £7 billion.
Under current laws, low emission cars in the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) band A pay nothing if they emit up to 100 g/km CO2 in a scheme intended to incentivise the take-up of green vehicles. However, it was announced in the Summer Budget 2015 that a new flat rate of £140 will be introduced in April 2017 for all vehicles except those emitting zero grams of CO2. The ECRA report claims the removal of existing incentives “makes no sense environmentally”.
Despite these planned changes, a number of high profile car manufacturers are planning to launch a series of new green models in the coming year, including Ford which recently announced it would invest almost £3 billion in new electric vehicles by 2020.
The report also found that domestic spending on micro generation technologies such as solar PV rose by 25% between 2013 and 2014 to reach £716 million.
Charles Middleton, managing director of Triodos Bank, said: “The report’s findings are a very positive sign for the growing movement of people who are making conscious choices with their money. And who, in doing so, are actively addressing the social and environmental challenges facing us today rather than relying on others to come up with the solutions.”