However, 29,205 homes have been completed to level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes

Only 31 homes have been built to level 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes since it was introduced four years ago, according to communities department research.

The figures are revealed in a report published last week that shows how many homes have received the government’s “zero carbon” certification since the introduction of the code in 2007.

A code level 6 home provides all the power needed for heating, lighting and appliances from onsite zero carbon energy sources - a level now beyond the government’s aspiration for zero carbon housing by 2016 since it amended the definition in March.

In stark contrast to the low numbers of code level 6 homes, the report shows 29,205 homes have now been completed to the less rigorous code level 3.

Separate research by the communities department published at the same time showed that a code level 6 house still costs £39,000 more than a home that complies with the 2006 energy requirements in the Building Regulations.

However a code level 3 home costs just £3,460 more than the standard three-bedroom semi.

The report reveals 88% of completed code level 3 homes have been built by social housing providers which are required to build to code level 3 in order to receive Homes and Communities Agency funding.

The government announced in the March Budget that zero carbon homes would only need to have zero carbon powered heating and lighting from 2016, equivalent to code level 5.
The government has signalled that it is to update the code to take account of its change to the definition of zero carbon and the the Zero Carbon Hub’s recommendations.