Zero Carbon Homes policy defeated again

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The government has successfully halted zero carbon homes plans after defeating the policy by just four votes…

Last year the government caused a furore by scrapping the Zero Carbon Homes policy abruptly. The decision was met with significant criticism from the sector, with many raising concerns that it would lead to greater environmental damage.

Now, for the second time the government has put a stop to policy that would bring Zero Carbon Homes to the forefront.

The Housing and Planning Bill is currently in the “ping pong” stage, moving between parliament and the House of Lords. The Bill is expected to receive Royal Assent tomorrow. However, despite an amendment put forward by Baroness Parminter, backed by the Lords, the government has defeated the Upper House and successfully scrapped the Zero Carbon Homes policy by four votes.

Instead, the government has introduced a clause to the Bill which commits to a review of the energy efficiency standard for new homes in building regulations. However, there is no time scale nor is there any specific criteria for the review.

The UK Green Building Council’s CEO Julie Hirigoyen said: “Let’s be absolutely clear. The amendment was never going to get us to zero carbon. But it would at least have ensured our new homes meet a minimum carbon compliance standard which has already been met by at least 70,000 new homes.

“Devoid of any such legislation, the Government’s legislative landscape is in danger of locking in carbon emissions for future generations. New homes will need expensive retrofit measures in future if we’re to meet our ambitious reduction targets.

“I take comfort from the level of support we’ve seen over the past weeks, as the Lords came close to forcing the Government’s hand.

“At UK-GBC, we will continue to push for higher standards during the Government’s upcoming review of building regulations. We will also work to provide those showing leadership – including devolved administrations and the new Mayor of London – a strong business case for driving down carbon.”

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