Tory Government scraps zero carbon homes plan

From The Guardian: Housebuilders, planners and green groups have condemned the government for scrapping plans to make all new UK homes carbon neutral.

The zero carbon homes policy was first announced in 2006 by the then-chancellor Gordon Brown, who said Britain was the first country to make such a commitment.

It would have ensured that all new dwellings from 2016 would generate as much energy on-site – through renewable sources, such as wind or solar power – as they would use in heating, hot water, lighting and ventilation. This was to be supported by tighter energy efficiency standards that would come into force in 2016, and a scheme which would allow housebuilders to deliver equivalent carbon savings off site.

However, both regulations were axed by the government on Friday, in a move Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, said was “the death knell” for the zero carbon homes policy.

“It is short-sighted, unnecessary, retrograde and damaging to the house-building industry, which has invested heavily in delivering energy-efficient homes,” Hirigoyen said. “Britain needs more housing but there is no justification for building homes with a permanent legacy of high energy bills.”

Housebuilders, energy leaders and environmentalists were similarly critical of the move. “We are very disappointed with this decision,” said Philip Sellwood, Chief Executive of the Energy Saving Trust. “Under the Climate Change Act, we have to achieve at least an 80% reduction in the carbon emissions from our homes by 2050. We need to be building homes now that are 2050 ready.”

[Read full article on Guardian website…]