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Construction needs more renewable energy solutions

The new head of a zero carbon homes taskforce has called on the Government to loosen its regulation of the industry.

Barratt chief executive Mark Clare, the new chair of the UK Green Building Council task group on zero carbon homes, wants more renewable energy solutions for construction.

The UK-GBC is pressing for the Government to reverse its decision not to include off-site renewable energy sources - such as windfarms - as eligible providers for zero carbon developments.

The Government has insisted they must be directly connected to the development concerned.

The new UK-GBC group includes representatives from major house builders, engineers, developers and energy suppliers, including Berkeley Homes and Crest Nicholson.

It will report to Government on the definition of zero carbon - which will be Level 6 for the Code For Sustainable Homes - to press for off-site renewables to be included.

The code will set a national standard for the building industry to design and construct homes to meet higher environmental standards.

Mr Clare said: “As we prepare to deliver the highest levels of the Code for Sustainable Homes, we need to be clear about what kinds of renewable energy solutions are available to us – on-site, near-site and off-site.

“The industry needs clarity sooner rather than later.”

The group will gather evidence and report back by Spring 2008 to the Government’s 2016 zero-carbon taskforce, co-chaired by Housing minister Yvette Cooper and the Home Builders Federation.

* The Government is set to make the Code for Sustainable Homes mandatory from April 2008 after 70 per cent of consultation respondents backed the idea.

Consultation results released by the Department for Communities and Local Government show that the majority of organisations called for the code to be made compulsory.

Only 11 per cent disagreed while a further 20 per cent gave no answer.

Related news:

Clare to chair zero-carbon committee