I was somewhat bemused by your recent article on the lack of demand for zero-carbon housing (4 April, page 68-71), because it almost completely contradicts our experience of supplying solar photovoltaic systems to homeowners and housebuilders.
Since 1998, when Solarcentury was established, the uptake of renewable technologies has expanded in the UK year on year. With it, awareness of the need to reduce emissions has grown hugely. Without calling the neutrality of the NHBC’s report into question, I’d be very interested to know how the 500 homeowners surveyed were found.
Also, the idea that there is any doubt that the renewables industry will be ready for carbon neutral homes by 2016, or that homeowners will “need to be taught how to use the new homes they inhabit” are clearly fallacious. Microgeneration technologies with no maintenance or operational needs are available now, and will drastically cut the carbon emissions of homes. What the report did highlight, as Jonathan Smales rightly points out, is the need to raise awareness even further of the importance of renewable technology – and its availability now.
Charlotte Webster, Solarcentury