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Building Regulations: Carbon Emissions

Volume 471: debated on Wednesday 30 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what discussions her Department has had with colleagues in the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform on the (a) next set of building regulations and (b) long- term impact of moving towards a lower carbon grid; (182600)

(2) how the move towards a lower carbon grid through deployment of new nuclear, renewables and carbon capture and storage will be reflected in the setting of future building regulations;

(3) when the 2016 Taskforce plans to discuss the relationship between housing and energy policy with respect to heating from low carbon electricity as proposed in the 2007 Energy White Paper; and which heating industry representatives the Taskforce plans to invite to attend the meeting.

Ministers and officials from the Department for Communities and Local Government have held regular discussions with colleagues from the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform on a range of strategic energy issues, including the future changes to the Building Regulations and the impact of moving towards a lower carbon grid.

The 2016 Taskforce, whose members already include the Construction Products Association which in turn represent the heating industry, discuss high level strategic issues related to the zero carbon standard, including around energy supply. When appropriate, relevant sectors will be invited to attend the Taskforce meetings to participate in discussions.

Building Regulations already take into account the carbon content of the grid. This is kept under regular review that will be continued as we move towards setting the zero carbon standard in Building Regulations from 2016.

The “Building a Greener Future: policy statement” document published on 23 July 2007 committed us to developing the definition of zero carbon for the purposes of Building Regulations. This will involve a full consultation within a sensible time frame to allow the industry to adjust before the planned changes in 2016.