All of us here at Inbuilt are enthusiastic about the UK Green Building Council’s report on Low Carbon Existing Homes which was published this week.

The report sends a clear message that innovative action to tackle the wasted energy from our existing housing stock is both necessary and achievable.

The public consultation that is to follow may add a few details, but the basics are already known. We need to make much greater use of energy performance certificates and their recommendations, and we need to focus on core energy efficiency rather than green bling. What will matter next spring is how clear and decisive the government can be on this issue in the face of economic recession when it is 18 months or so away from a general election.

The Code for Sustainable Homes gave us bold milestones to aim for in relation to brand new homes. There is no doubt in my mind that within next year’s low-carbon homes strategy we need a similar set of clear, long-term targets for existing homes in order to stimulate innovation.

However, we must also learn the lessons from the new-build sector – there is no point having good regulations in place to boost energy efficiency if compliance with those regulations is not policed. We absolutely must ensure good intentions become reality.

Neil Cutland, executive director, Inbuilt