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Housing minister defines ‘zero-carbon’ term

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Housing minister John Healey has spelled out the ‘zero carbon’ term in his announcement on energy standards for all new homes from 2016.

According to the statement, released by the CLG, a zero-carbon home is one that achieves ‘a 70% reduction in the carbon emissions from the current standard.’

Healey said: ‘I am confirming that all new homes from 2016 will have to meet a tough zero carbon standard, so they are cleaner, greener and cheaper to run. I’m publishing details of how designers and developers will have to meet this zero carbon commitment and we will work closely with the industry on the innovative building techniques and technologies required for the future.’

In a Parliamentary statement, Mr Healey confirmed tougher standards for all new homes to be zero carbon from 2016 and a review of the climate change planning policy statement, to ensure that it reflects the Government’s recently announced climate change ambitions and provides a clear and up to date route map to carbon reductions by 2020 and beyond.

John Healey said: ‘Planning is at the heart of delivering our ambitious climate change targets. The scale of the challenge is now clear, as is the imperative to plan and design for a low carbon economy. We will therefore review and combine the climate change and renewable energy PPSs, consulting in detail on proposals by the end of 2009.’

History: The government consulted in December 2008 on the definition of the zero carbon homes standard. A zero carbon home is one where the net carbon emissions from all energy use in the home is equal to zero (or negative) across the year. The approach to zero carbon will involve high energy efficiency standards and on site renewable energy and locally connected heat supply to achieve a 70 per cent reduction in the carbon emissions from the current standard; and allowable solutions to deal with the rest of the carbon emissions. Clean energy cash back and the renewable heat incentive will be available for zero carbon homes. The homes will be cheaper to run, and build in as a matter of course the ability for occupants to generate their own low carbon heat and electricity and be paid for doing so. For a “well-sited” PV (photovoltaic) of £825 per year, plus saving on energy bills of £140 could mean that  households could be £900 better off every year.

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