The recent report by NHBC on attitudes to zero-carbon homes must be seen as a call to action and not an excuse for failure.

Of course there are major challenges to be overcome en route to 2016. These include: consumer understanding and engagement, clarity about the best renewable energy solutions, the development of technology, and a whole range of new skills that will be needed to build desirable, high quality, zero-carbon homes in high volumes. But we know the direction of travel, we have some time, and now we need to get on with it.

The announcement in last month’s Budget of a consultation on the definition of zero carbon, and the establishment of a “delivery unit” this year to help the industry meet the 2016 target are evidence that the government’s commitment is firm.

We’ve already come a long way in a short time, and a can-do attitude has led to unprecedented levels of innovation that will drastically reduce the cost of new technology and techniques over the next few years and lead to a step change in the quality of our homes.

Paul King, chief executive, UK Green Building Council