Higher energy bills as government backtracks on green policy

Published:  31 July, 2013

Industry has reacted with disappointment as the government decided to “water down” and delay the requirements for newly built homes to meet more ambitious energy standards.

Yesterday’s announcement (30 July) to update the Building Regulations, intended as a step towards “zero carbon homes” by 2016, said that new energy standards would cut £200 on typical new homes’ fuel bills. This represents only around a fifth of the cut in bills expected under the previous government’s intended policy, resulting in energy bills for consumers living in new homes being around a third higher than expected. The government has also confirmed implementation will be delayed until April 2014, six months later than intended.

Dave Sowden, chief executive of the Micropower Council, said: “We believe this decision will result in energy bills for consumers occupying new homes being around a third higher and carbon savings less than a quarter, of those anticipated by the previous government’s intended policy.

“The government has made it extremely difficult to react to this announcement because it has made high level claims without publishing any of the detail. It brings very little clarity, will not result in any material additional uptake of low carbon energy technologies, and really is non-news until the details of the Regulations and the Impact Assessment are made available. This simply adds insult to injury following the long delays that have been encountered to regulations that were originally expected to be implemented in October 2013.”

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