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Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what public funds are available to improve energy efficiency standards for new housing built under the sustainable communities programme. (85883)

The Government are committed to improving energy efficiency in all housing. The new Buildings Regulations Part L, taken with changes to strengthen the building regulations in 2002 and 2005, will improve energy efficiency standards by 40 per cent. from April 2002 levels. The new draft code for sustainable homes will also raise the environmental standard of housing further and will signal the future direction of building regulations.

To achieve the higher levels of housing growth set out in the sustainable communities plan new homes must be built in a sustainable way to reduce their environmental impact and carbon footprint. We have already committed around £400 million to the development of the three growth areas and £850 million for the Thames Gateway up to March 2008. This is to deliver on all aspects of a sustainable community, including environmental performance.