Carbon neutral housing by 2016

All new build housing from 2016 will have to be Carbon Neutral. This will probably mean that most won’t have gas or oil central heating systems installed. It should mean they’re very well insulated though and will be very cheap to heat.

It’s actually from the last Labour government who in December 2006, implemented the idea of these changes.

The government has set up the Zero Carbon Hub

Whilst I can see the importance of cutting back on use of oil and gas (read about Peak Oil to find out more about why), I’m not sure why phrases like fuel poverty get used when talking about new builds. People who can afford a new build house generally have plenty of money – and if they don’t, perhaps that’s because they’ve just bought an incredibly expensive new house.

Builders who fail to meet the standard will be fined £15000. I’m not sure if this is per home, or per housing unit though.

So what is a zero carbon house?
For a new home to be genuinely zero carbon it will need to deliver zero carbon (net over the year) for all energy use in the home – cooking, washing and electronic entertainment appliances as well as space heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting and hot water.

Back in 2006 it was announced in the pre-Budget report that there’d a relief from stamp duty land tax (SDLT) for most new zero carbon homes built in the UK. However to date very few homes have qualified for this relief.

There’s a wiki page about the Code for Sustainable housing if you want to read more.

For me it’s very interesting to see how new builds get built in the year 2016 and whether they can actually be carbon neutral over a year.
Perhaps it will spur on new designs of housing to maximise use of insulation and renewable energy sources.

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