DCLG issues detailed guidance on zero carbon as part of Code for Sustainable Homes programme

The Government last night issued a fully detailed definition of zero carbon, responding to industry criticism that the criteria needed to meet it was impossible.

The guidance came as zero-carbon homes below £500,000 became exempt from stamp duty, as part of the government’s drive to towards all new homes being zero carbon by 2016.

Initially the industry voiced concern by the apparent contradictions as to the definition of a ‘zero carbon home’ in the Budget statement and a following Statutory Instrument (SI), outlining just what justified exemption from the duty.

The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) issued the guidance in a bid to clarify future eligibility of different energy sources and the method for calculating anticipated water consumption.

The new guidance looks at: the way energy efficiencies for flats with and without renewables are calculated; the way water efficiencies are calculated; the use of off-site renewable energy sources and connection to gas and electricity grids; plus additions to the list of on-site energy production sources.

Criticism of the contradictions within the last SI is voiced by Dr David Strong, chief executive of RES Group’s Sustainable Buildings Consulting outlines in this month's edition of Building Services Journal the contradictions that nullified attraction of the tax exemption relief.