MPs urged to back zero carbon homes

The Solar Trade Association, WWF and the Renewable Energy Association, with support from Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, are urging MPs to back amendments to the Infrastructure Bill today to restore the government’s Zero Carbon Homes standards to levels recommended by its own advisers.

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.

A joint statement has been sent to MPs which can be read here.

The Infrastructure Bill creates powers for developers to pay into a pot instead of delivering carbon-cutting measures onsite. The result, the trio say, is that purchasers of new homes will effectively be paying a carbon tax without enjoying the lower energy bills onsite measures can deliver for new homes.

Leonie Greene, head of external affairs at the Solar Trade Association, said: “With global temperatures at a record high this is not the time to step back from decarbonising our built environment. Solar technology is now affordable and particularly cost-effective to install at the new build stage where it can be made visually very attractive. We’re urging the Lib Dems to get behind the Labour drive to reinstate meaningful Zero Carbon Homes in the Infrastructure Bill. There is still a window of opportunity before the next election for the Lib Dems to deliver a really meaningful win.”

Emma Pinchbeck, head of climate and energy policy at WWF, said: “At a time when people are struggling to pay their energy bills and the UK is showing climate leadership on the global stage, we should be legislating for better housing not worse.

“Reducing emissions from our homes is critical in tackling climate change and doing so from newly built homes is much easier, and cheaper, than retrofitting at a later date. It just doesn’t make sense to make keeping our homes warm and reducing our carbon emissions harder than it needs to be.”

Nina Skorupska, chief executive of the Renewable Energy Association, said: “Zero Carbon Homes is in danger of becoming meaningless, with the watering down of the standards meaning homes built after 2016 will need retrofitting in the future, storing up problems which will be more expensive to deal with. The Lib Dems are pledging to build homes to the Zero Carbon Standard in their pre-manifesto, and this is a chance to live up to that before the election.”