Government presented with zero carbon definition for new homes

‘Although it has been very challenging to achieve consensus from across all parties involved in zero carbon homes, we always believed that the Task Group would come up with realistic but stretching targets that will drive both quality and quantity of new homes. I am therefore delighted that these recommendations set a basis for the Minister to come to the right decision and I’m sure that our industry will rise to the challenge he sets.”

The zero carbon definition has three parts. The first, the Fabric Energy Efficiency Standard (FEES), has already been set. This ensures that homes will have a high level of energy efficiency through good levels of insulation in walls, floors and roofs along with high performance windows and low air leakage. The second part, the carbon compliance standard sets targets for the amount of carbon emitted from the heating, hot water and lighting in the home. Even with near passive house standards of fabric, which is tougher than the FEES, some in-house generation of electricity will be needed except in the cases of biomass fuelled homes. For homes with the basic FEES there will be an increased need for photo voltaics or other renewable energy generation.

The Hub still needs to finalise the third part of the zero carbon definition, Allowable Solutions. These are a range of measures which will have to demonstrate that they are saving the remaining carbon emitted by the new zero carbon house. At this stage the range of Allowable Solutions has not been determined but it is likely that it will include local Community Energy Funds as well as options to do more on the dwelling through increased micro generation or energy efficiency for example.

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