The Government’s ability to meet EU targets for delivering low and zero-carbon homes has become threatened by a ‘deregulation agenda’ that resulted in the scrapped plans to make all new homes carbon-neutral, according to a new report from two UK universities. In the report, titled ‘The future of policy and standards for low and zero-carbon homes’, researchers from the University of Westminster and the University of Hertfordshire highlight the serious implications of the Government’s recently axed zero-carbon homes plan. The report reads: “Based on this research, there is wide support across the sector for the strong emphasis of Government upon national Building Regulations as the primary policy driver for achieving LZC [low and zero-carbon] homes, especially given that consumer drivers for higher energy standards are weak.
Edie 21st March 2016 read more »
Massive cuts to programmes aimed at making homes warmer and cheaper to heat have led to a 75% fall in the number of households helped by government to become more efficient since 2012, according to new research. Improving the UK’s leaky homes, such as with loft and wall insulation and more efficient boilers, is widely acknowledged as the cheapest and fastest way to cut energy bills and also reduce the carbon emissions that drive climate change. The number of efficiency measures installed through government-backed schemes has fallen by 80% since 2012, according to research by the Association for the Conservation of Energy, from 1.74m a year to 340,000 now. There was a sharp fall in 2013-14, as previous schemes were replaced by the now abandoned Green Deal and the energy companies obligation (ECO). Another marked drop occurred in 2015-16, due to cuts to ECO put in place by David Cameron after the “cut the green crap” row in 2013. The government’s own adviser on fuel poverty told the Guardian at the time that the cuts were “unforgivable” and “perverse”. “These research findings are truly shocking,” said Jenny Holland, at the Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE). “The UK has some of the worst housing stock in Europe, with levels of fuel poverty unheard of in much colder countries like Sweden. But Treasury help to upgrade our freezing homes has been slashed to the bone.”
Guardian 21st March 2016 read more »