New UK housing minister promises to support zero-carbon homes

Credit: Department of Communities and Local Government

The new UK housing minister Grant Shapps this week pledged to uphold the previous Labour government’s target for all new homes to be zero-carbon by 2016.

He promised that the Coalition Government will release a final definition of ‘zero-carbon’ in the next few weeks, bringing to an end years of consultation.

“I know how important it is to industry to have a clear definition as soon as possible – so that house builders can buy land with confidence and start to design the homes of the future, and so that the supply chain can gear up production of the technologies that will be needed,” he said.

Shapps said that as well as remaining committed to the 2016 target for all new homes to be zero carbon, he also wants to take effective action to reduce the 27% of emissions that the country’s homes currently represent.

Homes will need to have insulated walls, ceilings, floors and energy efficient windows to meet new energy standards, as well as using on-site renewables.

The housing minister set out his plans for getting the “the green housing industry back on track” at a new eco-housing development in Swindon.

The Triangle, developed by Hab Oakus with Housing Group Greensquare, received support from the Homes and Communities Agency, Department for Energy and Climate Change and the Energy Saving Trust to use renewable materials such as Hempcrete for external walls and incorporate other green features.

Last week the Coalition Government unveiled its energy and green economy bill, which includes plans for a ‘pay as you save’ loan scheme to help householders pay for energy efficiency measures out of the savings on their energy bills.

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UK Government unveils energy and green economy bill (26-May)
UK Government sets standard for zero-carbon homes (25-Nov 2009)
UK Housing Minister promises new standard for zero-carbon homes (20-Jul 2009)

04 June 2010