Government finally defeats zero carbon by four votes
The government appears to have finally confined its zero carbon homes policy to the scrapheap, following a battle with the House of Lords.
Last month, the upper house defeated the government by 48 votes over an amendment to the Housing and Planning Bill, seeking to reintroduce the zero carbon homes standard that the government scrapped last July.
However, yesterday the government finally defeated the amendment in the Lords by a margin of just four votes. In place of the zero carbon amendment, the government introduced a clause into the Bill committing to a review of the energy efficiency standard for new homes in the Building Regulations. The review clause contains no timescales or specific criteria.
The Housing and Planning Bill is now expected to receive Royal Ascent tomorrow (12 May).
Julie Hirigoyen, CEO of the UK Green Building Council, said: “Let’s be absolutely clear. The amendment was never going to get us to zero carbon. But it would at least have ensured our new homes meet a minimum carbon compliance standard which has already been met by at least 70,000 new homes.
“Devoid of any such legislation, the government’s legislative landscape is in danger of locking in carbon emissions for future generations. New homes will need expensive retrofit measures in future if we’re to meet our ambitious reduction targets.
“We will continue to push for higher standards during the government’s upcoming review of building regulations.”