Zero carbon target 'still feasible'
Sustainability experts say the government’s target for making all homes zero carbon by 2016 can still be reached despite a six-month delay in the implementation of amendments to building regulations.
The government confirmed on Tuesday that buildings must be 6 per cent more efficient than under current regulations in the delayed publication of long-awaited changes to part L of the 2010 Building Regulations.
The change falls short of the government’s original proposals to tighten carbon emission standards by 8 per cent for new homes.
The consultation on part L closed in April 2012 and a detailed plan was supposed to be set out by May 2013, with the new standards being implemented by October 2013.
However, Baroness Joan Hanham, under-secretary of state at the Communities and Local Government department, said there would now be a six-month delay on the implementation of the changes to give the industry ‘enough time to prepare’ – a move that had sparked fears zero carbon will not be implemented by 2016.
Tessa Hurstwyn, projects director at the Zero Carbon Hub, said: ‘The timescale for zero carbon new homes from 2016 remains feasible, but it is vitally important that government provide clarity on the full definition of zero carbon as soon as possible and provide the tools to allow its calculation.’
Joanne Wheeler, a senior policy advisor at the UK Green Building Council, said: ‘It should still be achievable.’