The UK Government has stuck to its guns by reiterating its pledge for all new homes to be zero carbon from 2016.
The Government renewed its commitment today pledging that the majority of energy savings would come from improvements made to the fabric of the home and through on-site or locally produced energy sources.
It had been expected in many quarters that the Government would revise its target and aim for 70 per cent of new homes to make the zero carbon grade from 2016.
UK Green Building Council chief executive Paul King said: “The Government’s renewed commitment to zero carbon homes provides all-important consistency of direction, while responding to genuine industry concerns.
“Government has rightly said that of all the challenges facing the housebuilding industry, carbon reduction is not something that can be compromised on.”
The pledge comes the day after the launch of the NHBC’s Zero Carbon Compendium – a worldwide comparison of low carbon housing efforts.
For the UK, the report shows that the target for England and Wales to reach zero carbon by 2016 is one of the most ambitious internationally, but that these countries are well-placed to achieve this.
Further, the UK is one of the only countries to propose including both regulated energy (primarily heating and hot water) and unregulated energy (including appliances used within the home) in the criteria for zero carbon measurement.
NHBC chief executive Imtiaz Farookhi said: “The compendium provides a comprehensive and invaluable overview of how other countries are approaching and meeting the challenge of reducing carbon emissions in housing.
“Inevitably, every country has its own unique domestic circumstances and approach, but it is reassuring to see the collective advancements being made and on such a scale.
”The UK, in particular, is setting the bar extremely high with aspirations that look beyond those of many other countries – indeed, we are the only country to propose including carbon emissions from appliances in our targets. We have also started from a different point of development from many other countries, which already have clear, long-term policies in place.”