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Conservatory Info
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Delays In Zero Carbon Home Regulation Threaten Housing Industry in UK

Government delays regarding proposed improved amendments on energy efficiency in new homes impend the construction of thousands of homes this year, worsening the UK housing crisis and preventing new investment. This was the revelation made by construction industry leaders recently.


As The Guardian reports, new efficiency standards were supposed to be introduced in April in response to ascertain that all new homes being built are zero carbon by 2016. Instead, amendments will be postponed until autumn, resulting in uncertainty in the construction industry as businesses wait to determine if the government keeps its promise to implement firmer regulations. Construction companies also fear that their investment on new equipment and training might be wasted if ministers fail to keep their promise on the building of zero carbon homes by 2016.


It is feared that the delay is caused by disagreements in the coalition regarding the strength of the proposed efficiency rules.  Trepidation is also attributed to the idea that it can be simplified further, rendering the new regulation useless.


The central item concerning this issue involves the “Part L” regulations of the standard building code or the provisionary standards for higher energy efficiency for new houses.  This key item was intended to set the tone of the 2016 deadline for making all new homes zero carbon. Commitment to the 2016 target that was set under Labour in 2006 is still guaranteed by the government.  But its silence and delays on the issue have placed the achievement of this target into doubt.


A Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) spokesman declared that the government’s commitment has been to publish the regulations in spring and introductions to be done in autumn.  However, industry experts said the original timetable mentioned the launch in April.


Various industry leaders have voiced out their support for the coming round of efficiency standards. Collectively, they are concerned that the delayed introduction would mean a serious blow to the already lagging UK economy.  According to Paul King, chief executive of the Green Building Council, the blame should be pointed directly to George Osborne as he has been very vocal about his hostility to environmental regulations.


A spokesman for the DCLG said, “We’re pulling all the stops to get Britain building. We want to see greener homes, but we need to avoid excessive regulation which will simply reduce house building and push up the cost of buying a new home.”

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