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Housing: Carbon Emissions

Volume 492: debated on Wednesday 20 May 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will bring forward legislative proposals to require private building companies to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions; and if he will make a statement. (274425)

[holding answer 11 May 2009]: In future, the Carbon Reduction Commitment will incentivise all private and public sector organisations that consume at least 6,000 MWh of half hourly metered electricity per year, including private building companies, to reduce their CO2 emissions. The final details of the scheme are currently subject to public consultation which closes on 4 June and it will come into force in 2010.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (Communities) is responsible for setting minimum standards for the energy and carbon performance of building works through the building regulations in England and (currently) Wales. Communities has announced that all new homes in England will be NET zero carbon from 2016, with progressive tightening of part L of the Building Regulations towards that outcome in 2010 and 2013. Communities expect to consult shortly on part L changes for 2010.

Government have also announced their ambition for new non-domestic buildings to be zero carbon from 2019. Communities has recently consulted on the definition of zero carbon homes and non-domestic buildings. The need for new legislation to give effect to these policies will be considered at a later stage. The devolved Administrations are working on their own proposals for low and zero carbon development.