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Housing: Carbon Emissions

Volume 491: debated on Thursday 23 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what research her Department has undertaken on market demand for (a) code level 6 and (b) zero-carbon homes; and if she will make a statement. (267906)

In July 2007, following public consultation, my Department confirmed that all new homes will be zero carbon from 2016. A further consultation to define the detailed definition of zero-carbon homes closed on 18 March 2009. The zero-carbon policy will be underpinned by regulations so that, subject to appropriate transitional arrangements, all new homes will be built to the zero-carbon standard from 2016. My Department has not conducted research on the demand for zero-carbon homes that would be expected in the absence of regulation.

There has however been research carried out by the Sponge Network, the Energy Saving Trust, Savills and Nationwide that suggest that consumers want to live in sustainable homes that are warm in winter and have low energy bills.

The Code for Sustainable Homes, which became operational in April 2007, is a sustainable building standard to help industry, Government and others understand how to build sustainable, energy efficient, low and zero-carbon homes. We anticipate that as the numbers grow, and as more people understand what sustainable homes can achieve in terms of cost savings and reduced impact upon the environment, this will help to stimulate demand.