New housing minister Grant Shapps has reaffirmed that the new Coalition Government will commit to the previous Labour Government's target of making all new homes zero carbon by the year 2016. At the unveiling of a new eco-housing project in Swindon last week, the housing minister stated that the final definition of a zero carbon home would be released within weeks.
Homes account for 27 per cent of the UK's carbon emissions with the built environment accounting for almost half which led the previous Government to work towards a new standard for zero carbon homes. Work was not concluded before they left office but thankfully the plan is going to be continued by the Coalition.
Shapps did not discuss how the Government would go about the zero-carbon targeting of commercial and non-domestic buildings but stated:
"When we were in Opposition I said that I endorsed the concept of building all new homes to a zero carbon standard, and that remains my position,
"I know how important it is to industry to have a clear definition as soon as possible – so that house builders can buy land with confidence and start to design the homes of the future, and so that the supply chain can gear up production of the technologies that will be needed.
"I will be publishing a final zero carbon definition in a matter of weeks so that the industry can get on and deliver the improved eco-friendly homes we need."
The news that the Coalition will commit to the 2016 target has been firmly backed by the UK Green Building Council and is expected to be widely welcomed by many other green authorities. It is also expected to be welcomed positively by green industries, including the double glazing industry, as it's expected that all new homes will need such green technologies to meet proposed emissions standards.