The MK Carbon Offset Fund is money raised from taxes imposed by MK Council on developers who construct new buildings in the borough that are not carbon neutral.
Developers are encouraged to build low carbon homes. For every ton of CO2 emitted in year 1 that is higher than the low carbon standard incurs a fee to be paid into a Low Carbon Offset Fund.

This is not normal practice in the UK and MK was the first to introduce a COF. There is at least one other local authority that has also adopted this scheme. This is possible by use of a Section 106 agreement.

A Section 106 is a legal agreement between an applicant seeking planning permission and the local planning authority, which is used to mitigate the impact of your new home on the local community and infrastructure.

The tariffs collected from developers for building a less than zero carbon growth housing. Funds raised are used for citizens to reduce carbon emissions through energy efficiency projects.

The carbon offset funds are managed locally for the benefit of the local community. Fuel poor and regeneration areas are given priority.

Resources needed

By 2017 the fund had funded projects that saved more than 6600 t of carbon and had generated more than £1 million GBP.

Need to agree a rate for charging each ton of CO2 emitted in the first year of using the new house.

Administration time for calculating how much tax the developer owes to th

Evidence of success

The COF has benefitted MK residents and helped address wider social, economic and health issues such as fuel poverty.

Examples of projects funded by the COF are:
• PV array installed on the roof of Milton Keynes Civic Office
• Cashback for new boiler installation scheme
• Lightbulb amnesty for European Sustainable Energy Week: LED bulbs were swapped for filament and halogen lightbulbs
• Energy efficiency improvements to public buildings – schools, town halls, libraries and community cent

Potential for learning or transfer

• Raising funds for carbon reduction projects
• Encouraging developers to build low carbon housing

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Main institution
Milton Keynes Council
Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire,
Start Date
April 2008
End Date


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