Grant Shapps, the housing minister, has signalled his intention to halt government funding for an independent body that was set up to help deliver zero-carbon housing

Shapps wrote to the board members of the Zero Carbon Hub this week to warn them that government funding would be withdrawn once a definition of zero carbon has been agreed.

The hub, which is chaired by Paul King of the UK Green Building Council, is jointly funded by the government and the industry. The communities department provides at least £500,000 a year. The balance of its £1m-plus budget is paid by the NHBC and Robust Details, the Building Regulations compliance consultant.

Industry sources said it was imperative the body was seen to have the support of both industry and government in order to do its work.

Shapps has already made clear his support for the Labour goal of making new homes zero carbon by 2016, and repeated his intention this week to have a definition finalised “within weeks”.

A communities department spokesperson said Shapps supported the Hub but that “in an extremely tight fiscal situation, it’s only right that government takes stock of its funding support to all organisations”.