Scrapping of Zero Carbon Homes and Allowable Solutions

On 10th July 2015 the government announced it will not be introducing Zero Carbon Homes in 2016 and Zero Carbon Non-Domestic buildings in 2019.

In a series of measures announced by the government called ‘Fixing the Foundations: Creating a more prosperous nation’, it stated;

The Government will repeat its successful target from the previous Parliament to reduce net regulation on house builders. The government does not intend to proceed with the zero carbon Allowable Solutions carbon offsetting scheme, or the proposed 2016 increase in on-site energy efficiency standards, but will keep energy efficiency standards under review, recognising that existing measures to increase energy efficiency of new buildings should be allowed time to become established”. 

The full statement can be found here.

The path to Zero Carbon has been a long and complicated one since 2007. The definition of Zero Carbon has been debated at length, and it was eventually agreed that only ‘regulated’ emissions would be included. It was proposed that a 19% uplift over the current Part L standards would be introduced in 2016, with allowable solutions being used to offset the remaining carbon where it could not be achieved on site. It was also agreed that a site of 10 plots or less would be exempt from the allowable solutions scheme. All of this has now been scrapped therefore there will not be any uplift in the Part L regulations next year, nor will the allowable solutions scheme be introduced.

There has been widespread criticism of this u-turn in policy by the construction industry, and over 200 businesses have signed an open letter urging the Chancellor to reconsider the decision. A copy of this can be found here.

However the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive requires nearly zero energy buildings from 2020. This is reliant on still being part of the EU by then of course. As always Elmhurst will keep you up to date with the latest developments in this area.

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