In his speech yesterday, Housing Minister Grant Shapps said he was announcing the definition of zero carbon homes. These include acceptable levels of on-site carbon reduction from renewable technologies.
Developers of properties built from 2016 onwards will have to ensure emissions associated with energy use from heating, lighting, hot water and building services are reduced to zero.
They will have to ensure the fabric of the building meets tough efficiency requirements, and will be able to use on-site and off-site renewables to meet the zero carbon demands.
However, they will not have to put in place measure to lessen the expected lifetime emissions from a property, Mr Shapps stated.
The zero-carbon homes policy as it stood, would have been a pioneering instrument for the UK, putting us not only ahead of European housing policy but globally as well.
The Government has now adjusted the definition of zero carbon, shifting the policy away from including emissions from unregulated energy, such as appliances within homes, to the structure and technologies of newbuild in the housing market.
In future, a zero-carbon home will only be zero carbon in so far as the Building Regulations say it is. Emissions from cooking or from plug-in appliances including computers and televisions will not be addressed as part of this policy.