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Energy: Conservation

Volume 462: debated on Thursday 28 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the Government's target is for the number of (a) homes with an excellent building regulations energy efficiency rating and (b) zero-carbon homes to be built in each year in England. (145535)

Building Regulations set minimum standards for energy efficiency. Changes we have already made to Building Regulations mean that the energy efficiency of new houses has improved by 70 per cent. compared to pre-1990 levels. We have also consulted on proposals to further strengthen Building Regulations over the next decade such that all new homes will be required to be zero carbon in terms of their net emissions over the course of a year from 2016.

Homes built with Government funding are taking the lead here. All new Government funding for homes built by registered landlords and other developers, for example through the Housing Corporation, will now make it a condition that they achieve a 3-star rating in the Code for Sustainable Homes—25 per cent. better than current Building Regulations.

We expect that changes to the Building Regulations, the Code for Sustainable Homes, the carbon challenge and the stamp duty relief for new zero carbon homes will all encourage the development of highly energy efficient and zero carbon homes. We do not have targets of the type referred to but we will be monitoring progress carefully.