Zero Carbon Homes

Published Monday, November 18, 2013

This note covers the proposal for zero carbon homes from 2016.

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The purpose of this note is to outline the Government’s plans for zero carbon homes and give an update on the latest developments. The current Government uses Part L of building regulations, the ‘Standard Assessment Procedure’ (SAP) and the Code for Sustainable Homes to set energy performance standards, and to determine the performance of dwellings.

The Labour Government set out the original plans for zero carbon homes in their consultation document Building a Greener Future in 2006. The coalition Government has amended the proposals with the aim of striking a balance between zero carbon goals and the stimulation of growth in the house building industry. The concept of ‘Allowable Solutions’ has been introduced to widen the possibility of what off-site carbon reductions can be considered.

A commitment to delivering zero carbon homes from 2016 was included in the Budget 2013. A written statement on 30 July 2013, announced the Government’s plans to amend Part L of building regulations. They seek to strike a balance between reducing the regulatory burden on developers and the Government’s zero carbon home commitments.

In August 2013, the Government launched a consultation, Next steps to zero carbon homes: allowable solutions to explore the next steps to take towards ‘allowable solutions’. At the same time was also launched a Housing standards review consultation.

In September 2013, the Environmental Audit Committee announced an inquiry into the Government’s Housing Standard Review consultation. Details are available on their website

Commons Briefing papers SN06678

Authors: Paul Lester; Elena Ares

Topics: Climate change, Energy conservation, Housing

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