The only organisation that merits the description “short-sighted” is the Association for the Conservation of Energy, in its response to our view on the introduction of new Building Standards in Scotland later this year a move estimated by the Scottish government itself to add up to £8k on to the cost of new homes (“Short-sighted vision” letter, 16 April,).

Homes for Scotland remains fully supportive of the sustainability agenda. In addition to new homes already offering savings of more than £500 a year in fuel costs, the home building industry is also leading the way towards a low-carbon economy when compared with almost all other industry sectors, having reduced the carbon emissions of new homes by 60% from 1990 levels.

Not only must such momentum be balanced against very real and very current technical and affordability constraints, but much greater emphasis needs to be placed on systematically improving the performance and energy efficiency of existing dwellings if the Scottish government really wishes to meet its carbon emission reduction targets.

Jonathan Fair, chief executive, Homes for Scotland