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Housebuilders 'pessimistic' over zero-carbon targets

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The cream of the UK’s housebuilders have warned that they are ‘deeply uncomfortable’ about their ability to achieve the government’s targets for all new homes to be zero-carbon by 2016.

Managers from the UK’s top ten house-building firms – Persimmon, Barratt, George Wimpey, Taylor Woodrow, Bellaway, Redrow Group, Miller Homes, Bovis, Berkeley, and Charles Church Developments – were interviewed by sustainability consultancy Inbuilt.

David Strong, Inbuilt chief executive and special advisor to the European Commission on energy, said: ‘When we asked the house-building industry whether it can deliver under the existing rules there was a mixed and mostly pessimistic view.’

‘There is a clear message that the government must simplify its definition of zero carbon and allow access to renewable electricity from certified, additional sources if we are going to stand a chance of meeting its aims for 2016,’ added Strong.

Strong also described the Treasury’s stamp-duty relief for zero-carbon homes as a ‘red herring’, adding that it did ‘did nothing to help deliver zero-carbon homes’.

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