Builder proposes retrofit alternative to zero carbon
A leading house builder has called on the government to scrap plans to make homes zero carbon from 2016 in favour of a levy to improve existing stock.
Linden Homes, the house building division of Galliford Try, wants the government to introduce a charge on new homes of between £3,000 and £5,000 instead of requiring them to meet level 6 of the code for sustainable homes.
This money would be channelled into a central pot, and used to fund improvements to the energy efficiency of existing homes.
Linden Homes argues its proposals would allow the government to cut carbon dioxide emissions from housing without the negative consequences of moving to code level 6.
It claims the additional cost of zero carbon homes would make many developments unviable, and householders would be unhappy with some of the required measures, such as low flow showers and taps.
It also argues its proposal would allow funding to be targeted more effectively at fuel poor families rather than introducing a blanket requirement on all new homes.
The builder has set out its proposals in a response to the government’s consultation on changes to part L of the building regulations, which covers the conservation of fuel and power in England. This closes tomorrow (27 April) and is due to come into force next year.
Linden Homes commissioned pollsters Yougov to carry out a survey of public views on improving the energy efficiency of homes. It found 57 per cent thought existing properties should make a bigger contribution to energy saving rather than relying on new homes.
Ian Baker, managing director at Linden Homes, said the company is pleased to have public backing for its idea.
‘One of its key advantages is that unlike other green upgrade initiatives, the improvement works would be funded by grants so households would not be landed with the burden of extra debt to deliver carbon savings,’ he said.
‘And the levy to fund those grants does not act as a disincentive to house building.’