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Zero Carbon Hub shuts its doors

PDP's zero-carbon housing scheme in Belfast
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The cash-strapped Zero Carbon Hub has announced it will cease all operations tomorrow (31 March) 

The public-private body, which was founded in 2008 to tackle the then Labour government’s target of making all homes zero carbon from 2016, has struggled against continuous back-tracking on green policy.

In the 2015 Budget George Osborne announced the targets were to be scrapped prompting an outcry from the profession.

Since then the hub, which had been supporting the housebuilding industry on meeting the targets, had been forced to refocus its efforts and had been carrying out work looking at overheating in homes and the performance gap.

But the move to scrap zero carbon targets has led industry funding for the Zero Carbon Hub to be removed with its board members refusing to carry on funding the troubled organisation.

Paul King, chair of Zero Carbon Hub board, said: ‘Zero Carbon Hub has been remarkably successful in bringing together a wide spectrum of stakeholders with an interest in the world-leading zero carbon target across public, private and third sectors.

‘It has been a model of collaboration between industry and government, helping translate policy aspiration into reality. I would like to thank the many individuals and organisations who have supported us on this remarkable journey and their commitment to improving the quality of new homes.’

Neil Jefferson, Zero Carbon Hub chief executive, added: ‘I am extremely proud of what Zero Carbon Hub has achieved in the past eight years and very grateful for the hard work of its dedicated staff.

‘Since we embarked upon this journey, the industry has come a very long way and Zero Carbon Hub has made a significant contribution by engaging government, industry and consumer interests and successfully translating policy ambitions into practicable standards and guidance.’

Further comments

Andrew Orriss, head of business development, SIG360

’Unfortunately, the closure of Zero Carbon Hub (ZCH) was inevitable given that the current government has a very weak carbon agenda. As well as the scrapping of the Green Deal and the time extensions to the Energy Companies Obligation, there is clear lack of commitment to improve the energy efficiency of UK homes.

’In 2000, the government proposed to eliminate fuel poverty by 2016, however this target is far from being achieved. The use of fit and forget systems such as insulation could have helped them achieve that target, as supported by ZCH, without the need for expensive renewable energy systems.

’The intelligent approach ZCH has given to the industry in providing solutions on key issues such as the much talked about variances between as design and as built buildings – known as the performance gap – will be much missed.

’We are extremely disappointed by this lack of government support which has lead to the closure of ZCH, however we hope that the industry can continue to deliver the first class work that was carried out by the organisation in improving the energy efficiency of homes and raising building standards.’

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