Saturday, 19 April 2014

Zero carbon rethink to drive energy demands

Revisions to the government’s definition of zero carbon homes will result in increasing demands for low carbon electricity, it has emerged.

The committee that monitors the government’s progress in reducing carbon emissions has revised its estimates to increase electricity demand by 6TWh by 2030 as a result of changes to the definition announced alongside the Budget in March.

All new homes built from 2016 must be zero carbon, but the government has yet to define exactly what this means. Its latest proposal includes emissions covered by building regulations, such as lighting and heating, but does not cover appliances.

The Committee on Climate Change had previously assumed all new homes built from 2016 would be carbon neutral, with emissions either met on site, or mitigated by paying into offsite renewables.

These ‘allowable solutions’ would previously have been used to offset all emissions from the home not covered on site. The Zero Carbon Hub, which is working with the government to define zero carbon, yesterday issued its proposals for the operation of a market in allowable solutions.

The Committee on Climate Change has now revised its approach in line with the new zero carbon definition, resulting in the 6TWh increase contained in its latest progress report, which was published last week.

Campaigners were angered by the change to the definition announced in March, with WWF-UK resigning from the Zero Carbon Hub in protest.

Darren Shirley, campaign manager at WWF-UK, said: ‘The government has created more of a challenge for itself by changing the definition. They are making it harder to meet carbon reduction targets, and the Committee on Climate Change report showed the government is off track.’

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

sign in register

Newsletter Sign-up

More Newsletters

Related

Articles

  • Countdown to zero

    13/09/2013

    By 2016, the government wants all new homes to be zero carbon. So what impact will plans to scrap the code for sustainable homes in favour of revamping part L of the Building Regulations have on meeting this goal? Keith Cooper investigates

  • Sustainable Housing Awards 2013

    01//11/2013

    From the latest hybrid technology to tenant-run garden projects, this year’s Sustainable Housing Award winners demonstrate the very best in environmentally friendly approaches to building and maintaining homes and communities. Kate Youde reports

  • A SHIFT in attitude

    13/09/2013

    Social housing is becoming greener according to the latest assessment, but with cash tight will this trend continue? Andrew Eagles and Richard Lupo report

  • Time to act

    2 August 2013

    Government delays surrounding zero carbon policy must end if it is to achieve the 2016 target, says Laurna Robertson

  • Report calls for green deal social landlords consultation

    9 October 2013

    A report published yesterday by a cross party group has slammed the green deal saying it is ‘unattractive’ and ‘uncompetitive’ and has called for a green deal for social landlords consultation.

Resources

  • Green guru - future proofing

    24/05/2013

    In a time of financial restraint, it is only by trialling and analysing the various funding schemes and retrofit approaches available that asset managers can successfully future-proof their social housing stock, says John Barnham

  • Strength in numbers

    24/05/2013

    A housing co-operative in Leeds has created a one-of-a-kind affordable eco-community for residents. Jess McCabe reports

  • Unanswered questions

    26/07/2013

    Private tenants cannot be certain whether article 8 applies in possession cases, says Justin Bates, barrister at Arden Chambers

  • Changing lives

    18/10/2013

    The Andy Ludlow Awards celebrate the very best homelessness services in London. Simon Brandon reveals this year’s winners

  • At the heart of health

    13/09/2013

    Halton Housing Trust is at the centre of local decision-making on healthcare, but its enviable position is no accident. Austin Macauley finds out how the 6,400-home landlord became involved in more than just housing