Budget announcement on Zero Carbon New Homes

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

In the Budget’s Plan for Growth document, the Zero Carbon Hub is pleased to note that its Task Group work on ‘Carbon Compliance’ will form the basis for consultations on future changes to the Building Regulations up to and including those in 2016. Furthermore, Task Group recommendations to move to ‘as-built performance’ of new homes will be at the forefront of thinking in future Building Regulation changes.

In the Budget announcement, details of the 2016 zero carbon new homes policy have been clarified and include only the emissions covered by Building Regulations (heating, fixed lighting, hot water and building services). Therefore, emissions from cooking or from plug-in appliances such as computers and televisions will not be addressed as part of this policy.

Hearing the news, Neil Jefferson, Chief Executive of the Zero Carbon Hub said:

“Firstly, I’m really pleased that we have had confirmation that the Hub’s Task Group’s recommendations for levels of on-site Carbon Compliance will form the basis for the 2016 Building Regulations.

“Today’s other announcement regarding zero carbon definition and unregulated emissions will need more careful consideration and will certainly divide opinion. However, our job is to continue to work with Government and all those involved in the house building industry to help make this policy a reality from 2016.”


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Notes to Editors

1. Zero Carbon Hub is a public/private partnership drawing support from both government and the industry and reports directly to the 2016 Taskforce. The Hub takes day-to-day operational responsibility for co-ordinating the delivery of low and zero carbon new homes and exists to highlight challenges and find practical solutions for those across the public and private sectors delivering zero carbon homes by 2016.

2. Carbon Compliance represents the overall contribution to achieving zero carbon which can be attained on-site – combining good building fabric performance and use of on-site low and zero carbon energy technologies such as PV and connected heat (community heating networks) to reduce emissions. Carbon Compliance builds on Zero Carbon Hub recommendations made in Defining a Fabric Energy Efficiency Standard (November 2009). Both reports are available for download at the Zero Carbon Hub website www.zerocarbonhub.org

3. Carbon Compliance measures represent only part of the proposed regime to achieve zero carbon new homes. The Government has recognised that it is not practical to achieve a fully zero carbon new home through on-site measures alone, and has proposed a scheme of Allowable Solutions whereby developers contribute to the cost of off-site measures to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions. The parameters of this scheme will be influenced by the budget announcement.