The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) has welcomed the UK government's renewed commitment to zero carbon homes.
Government has confirmed all new homes must be zero carbon from 2016, with the majority of energy savings coming from improvements made to the fabric of the home and through on-site or locally-produced energy sources.
UK-GBC chief executive Paul King said: "Government's renewed commitment to zero carbon homes provides all-important consistency of direction, while responding to genuine industry concerns. Government has rightly said that of all the challenges facing the house building industry, carbon reduction is not something that can be compromised on.
"This announcement confirms a sensible 'hierarchy' approach to carbon reductions. Firstly, high levels of energy efficiency in the fabric of the home. Secondly, at 70%, a suitably ambitious level of carbon mitigation achieved on-site and thirdly, recognition that developers will need recourse to so-called 'allowable solutions', particularly through export of heat to nearby areas. This provides the right level of overall ambition while providing for practical delivery.
"We look forward to more detail on the wider range of allowable solutions that could be used, and still believe the idea of a Community Energy Fund would be the best way of delivering the most cost-effective and strategically-appropriate solutions at a local level.
"This statement will provide increased confidence for an industry that needs to plan and deliver urgently needed new homes. But the final definition remains very important and we look forward to that in due course."
Source: UK Green Building Council