Government told it will miss 2016 zero-carbon housing target unless private builders forced to conform sooner

National Housing Federation chief executive David Orr has warned that the government will miss its target for all new homes to be zero carbon by 2016 unless emission standards are enforced on private builders.

Speaking at the federation's annual conference in Birmingham, Orr said that while 92% of housing association new homes are already meeting minimum sustainable standards only 2% of new homes built by private developers do so.

He said that private developers are already a long way behind in the drive to cut carbon emissions from new homes - and unless ministers intervene now, private-sector developers will simply be unable to meet the 2016 deadline.

Currently, private developers are… being allowed to put their profits ahead of the survival of future generations.

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation

Orr said: “Currently, private developers are not being compelled to meet minimum standards on greenhouse gas emissions at all. In fact, they are being allowed to put their profits ahead of the survival of future generations.

“It's time that ministers legally locked private developers into the same timetable as housing associations. We have long been calling for the government to ensure that from April 2008 all new private homes emit 25% less CO2. And we would like ministers to make certain that all new privately built homes are zero carbon by 2016, at the very latest.

“Unless the government compels the private sector to meet the same standards and timetable, private companies will simply try to wriggle out of their environmental duties, saying it costs too much.”