Industry condemns ‘watered down’ green housing standards

The domestic renewable energy industry has condemned the Government’s proposals to scrap green standards for new build properties. The Government is proposing to get rid of the 2008 Planning and […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The domestic renewable energy industry has condemned the Government’s proposals to scrap green standards for new build properties.

The Government is proposing to get rid of the 2008 Planning and Energy Act which gives councils and local authorities the freedom to set their own renewables and energy efficiency targets.

The renewables industry claims the proposal to remove the green housing standards will scrap the “only policy tool for incentivising on-site renewables” in new homes.

More than 100 housing standards are currently available to councils to apply locally but the Government aims to cut it to less than 10.

Andrew Warren, Director of the Association for the Conservation of Energy said: “The suggestion to scrap the Act flies in the face of localism, good governance, the path to 2016 and the Government’s well-worn claim to be the greenest ever.

“Set against the backdrop of a watered down minimum standard in the shape of the 2013 Building Regulations, the Act is more important now than it ever has been. At a time when the Government could benefit from actions which restore confidence and trust in its relationship with local authorities and industry, the suggestion to scrap the Act quite simply beggars belief and must be dropped.”

Dr Nina Skorupska, Chief Executive of the Renewable Energy Association (REA) added: “How can a Government claiming to support both localism and renewable energy suggest doing away with the only policy tool that enables local authorities to promote the use of renewables in new housing?

“It is cheaper to install renewables during construction rather than retrofit and doing so means the occupants can benefit from lower energy bills from day one. The Government should be seeking to future proof new housing against rising energy prices and make it fit for the 21st century.”

The consultation over the revised Housing Standards will run until 22 October.