New bill leaves zero-carbon target “in tatters”

Published:  04 June, 2014

New legislation, announced today as part of the Queen’s Speech, has attracted criticism from industry for scaling back measures to achieve zero carbon by 2016.

The bill excludes small housing developments from its green measures and sets a requirement of just a 44% reduction in CO2 emissions, significantly watering down its target of making all new homes zero-carbon by 2016.

Dave Sowden, chief executive of the Sustainable Energy Association, has condemned the decision. “This latest announcement leaves the zero-carbon homes policy in tatters,” he argued. “It only applies to 30% of the market, and it seems the government is content to settle in 2016 at a level of ambition the previous government set out to achieve by 2013.

“At times when household energy bills are right at the top of consumer concerns, this policy will mean higher energy bills are locked in for decades to come, and create a need for a future generation to retrofit those homes if we are ever to decarbonise the housing stock permanently.

“This government has consistently restated its commitment to zero-carbon homes by 2016. The government’s own figures do not stack up, do not follow their own guidelines, and use incorrect industry data. Ministers are being wholly disingenuous with the public in claiming that today’s announcement gets anywhere close to fulfilling that commitment. More seriously, this marks another nail in the coffin of investor confidence for the energy-related parts of the construction industry’s supply chain.”

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