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Energy Minister defends cutting Zero carbon Homes Policy!

Andrea Leadsom has defended the axing of the zero carbon homes programme by stating that other EU policies will ensure that buildings will be nearly zero carbon by 2021

The government’s recent decision to axe the Zero Carbon Homes Target, which was set to come in to play for new home this year, has been defended by Andrea Leadsom, the Energy Minister, who argues that all new homes will be “virtually ” zero carbon by 2021 under the remaining efficiency policies.

The Zero Carbon Homes Target was finally scrapped in the Housing and Planning Act earlier this month  by a four vote margin, only after the Lords had rejected it a week before, calling for its reinstatement.

The minister  was referring to the EU’s Energy Performance in Buildings Directive which will force all new buildings to be “Nearly Zero Energy”  2021.

Ms Leadsom was adamant in her comments  at the launch of the first and only Ecotown, that the government was correct to cut the target as the financial burden was potentially a crippling one to house builders.

She added that the “complexity” of the regulations would “rule out” smaller house builders and went on to say that it simply “doesn’t make sense at a time when we desperately need to be building more houses to put more regulation in the way of getting those houses built”.

Ms Leadsom commented further that the government was “doing everything we can” to improve energy efficiency focussed on the Energy Company Obligation(ECO)  and elevating fuel poverty!

JB Comments – More hypocrisy from the conservative government!  We already know that the ECO has not delivered what was hoped or expected. The Green Deal, a central part of the programme, was axed last year due to it’s poor take up. Focussing on existing buildings is a worthy cause as they make up  the lion’s share of CO2 emissions from buildings in the UK and it makes sense to ensure there is a scheme which can do this. ECO has been proven to be less effective than its predecessors.

However, to ignore new buildings when so much work has already been completed to deliver Zero Carbon homes and with overwhelming industry support, is bewildering!

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