Government ditches zero carbon commitments
Allowable solutions mechanism and 2016 on-site energy efficiency standards scrapped in the Treasury’s Productivity Plan
Report from – Damien Carr
The plan published on 10 July, 2015, states that the government will no longer go ahead with the zero carbon ‘allowable solutions’ carbon offsetting scheme or the proposed 2016 increase in on-site energy efficiency standards, although energy efficiency standards will be kept under review, “recognising that existing measures to increase energy efficiency of new buildings should be allowed time to become established.”
In July 2014, as part of its 2016 zero carbon homes standard, the government announced its Allowable Solutions mechanism, whereby house builders could offset carbon emission that could not be cost effectively be saved on site such as though a capped fund .
The document states that the jettisoning of these two key zero carbon commitments would help the government “repeat its successful target from the previous Parliament to reduce net regulation on house builders”.
Commenting on the overall proposals to speed up house building, Communities Secretary Greg Clark said:
“The top-down targets of the past planning system did nothing to deliver the homes our country needs. In contrast, putting local people in control has led to record numbers of homes being granted permission and support for house building to grow.”
However, the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) was sharply critical of the government’s to the zero carbon homes decision.
“Let us be in no doubt this announcement is the death knell for zero carbon homes,” said its chief executive Julie Hirigoyen. “It is short-sighted, unnecessary, retrograde and damaging to the house building industry which has invested heavily in delivering energy efficient homes.
Willmott Dixon, which is a UKGBC member, said that it has been supportive of setting a long term goal so that industry could invest with confidence. “This announcement seriously undermines industry confidence in government policy and will diminish future investment,” he said.
Is there a market for quality low carbon homes and how can they be built efficiently and cost effectively?
Build4Qaulity seeks to answer these questions.