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Brown consults on zero carbon homes definition

The Minister for Housing and Planning, Margaret Beckett has announced Gordon Brown's proposals for making new homes zero carbon from 2016 and is now seeking the industry's views on the definition of zero carbon homes.
The government's newly-published document 'Definition of Zero Carbon Homes and Non-Domestic Buildings: Consultation' seeks views on its approach based on:

-high levels of energy efficiency in the fabric of the home

-a minimum level of carbon reduction to be achieved onsite or through directly connected heat;

-a list of (mainly offsite) 'allowable solutions' for dealing with the remaining emissions (including from appliances).

In the 2008 budget, the government announced its aim to have all new non-domestic buildings zero carbon from 2019 (with earlier targets for schools and other public buildings). The consultation document also seeks views on this target.

The Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP said: 'It is critical that we don't lose sight of our longer term responsibilities. A failure to invest in reducing climate change now would be disastrous for future generations'.

She added: 'Zero carbon housing is an extremely demanding goal, and it is essential that all house builders are involved in the discussions. In particular, house builders have told us that they need greater clarity on the details: what is meant by zero carbon and how it can be achieved in practice. Without compromising on the ultimate goal, we need to give house builders as much flexibility as possible on how we work towards it. Through this consultation, we will give the industry more certainty about what they need to do.'

The consultation runs until March 18, 2009.

To view the Zero Carbon consultation document click here
18 December 2008

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