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Government move to scrap zero carbon homes plan is huge missed opportunity

22 July 2015

Government move to scrap zero carbon homes plan is huge missed opportunity Photo: © Hastoe Housing Association

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) was extremely disappointed to learn that the Government has decided to scrap plans to make sure all new homes (by 2016) and non-domestic buildings (by 2019) are carbon neutral. In response to the Government’s announcement, CPRE has partnered with Energy Saving Trust and Association for the Conservation of Energy to issue the following statement:

There are some good things in the Government’s proposals to boost productivity, but abandoning the plans for zero carbon homes is certainly not one of them. We understand that zero carbon policy for non-domestic buildings will also be discarded. Taken together, these are hugely retrograde steps, condemning new home owners to higher energy bills, and failing to grasp the opportunity to create jobs, reduce carbon emissions and reduce the impacts of new energy infrastructure on the countryside.

The Government has assumed that zero carbon policy hinders housebuilding, but fails to provide any sound justification that this is the case. In fact there is good evidence that housebuilders, particularly small and medium-sized developers, are willing and able to deliver new homes to high specifications. Furthermore, the Government has not consulted stakeholders sufficiently on this sudden announcement. This stop-start approach gives industry no confidence in the Government’s vision for a low carbon economy.

The Government needs to support forward-thinking, productive companies, not benefit backward-looking ones through such regressive action. We hope it will provide this vital support soon.


Nick Clack, Senior Energy Campaigner, Campaign to Protect Rural England
Philip Sellwood, Chief Executive, Energy Saving Trust
Joanne Wade, Director, Association for the Conservation of Energy

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