Renewables industry welcomes call for Pickles to support renewables in new homes

The REA and STA welcomes today’s Environmental Audit Committee report ‘Code for Sustainable Homes and the Housing Standards Review’, which criticises the government’s lack of progress and ambition on ensuring all new homes are ‘zero carbon’ by 2016.

The Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) has welcomed Kevin Lowe as the new technical manager to drive positive change in the successful implementation of heat pump technology.

The Housing Standards Review suggests ‘amending or removing’ both the Code for Sustainable Homes and the Planning & Energy Act – the two measures supporting renewable energy in new homes.

The REA is cited extensively in the report. REA chief executive Dr Nina Skorupska said: “DCLG must open its eyes to the cost reductions and economic opportunities in new build renewables, from solar panels to wood burners to heat pumps. Building energy efficient homes with their own clean energy supply means lower energy bills for occupants from the day they move in. The costs of on-site renewables are continuing to fall and installing them during construction rather than retrofit makes them even cheaper.

“Local Authorities are enthusiastically making use of the Code for Sustainable Homes and Planning & Energy Act, so they must be maintained until a solution which drives both localism and renewables can be incorporated into the Building Regulations.”

STA chief executive Paul Barwell said: “The cost of putting solar panels on your roof plummeted by 70 percent between 2011 and 2013, and we expect to see solar hot water systems come down in price by 30 percent as that market develops. Solar is a popular choice for developers as it is easy to install and well understood by the public.

“With conventional energy bills soaring, more and more people are looking to generate their own energy instead of buying from the Big Six. The government must seize this opportunity to lock in low energy bills and low carbon emissions for new homes.”