19 Jan 2009 04:01:08
'Zero carbon' consultation under way
A process for defining exactly what 'zero carbon' means is a quarter of the way through.
With all new homes built after 2016 set to be zero carbon, the government consultation on what that actually requires was launched last month and is set to run until March.
The current consultation is less stringent in its definition than Building a Greener Future, a 2007 government policy statement.
Originally zero carbon was to mean that homes would have net zero carbon emissions after such processes as heating, lighting, powering appliances and exporting and importing energy were taken into account.
Under the terms of the consultation zero carbon is based on high energy efficiency, on- or near-site carbon reduction, and allowable solutions for dealing with remaining emissions.
In the introduction to the consultation paper, which urges the industry to have its say, housing and planning minister Margaret Beckett calls for a "revolution in the ways in which we plan, design and construct our buildings".
The government is also consulting on whether non-domestic buildings should be required to be zero carbon from 2019.http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/planningandbuildi...