But climate change minister says rumours Green Deal will be scrapped are ‘bonkers’

Plans to require homeowners extending their property to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings are under threat from a backlash by Tory ministers.

The changes, which form part of the revised Part L building regulations, would mean householders doing extensions or even replacing windows would be required to spend around an additional 10% on improving the energy efficiency of their homes.

The draft regulations, which were released in January, were labelled a “tax on conservatories” by the national press last week. Though, as Building has previously reported, the changes will not apply to the majority of conservatories.

Ministers have been keen to stress that homeowners would be able to use the Green Deal to pay for the improvements.

Today, The Times reports that chancellor George Osborne and housing minister Grant Shapps – both Conservatives - are set on killing the policy.

One Conservative source told the paper: “We are in a consultation period but ministers do fear this is an attack on aspiration. Given that people are having to deal with tough economic circumstances, it is important that we show we are on the side of hard-working families.”

Conservative communities secretary Eric Pickles, who heads up the department responsible for the policy, is also said to be “not massively enthusiastic” about the policy but supportive of its inclusion in the regulations.

Yesterday the Sunday Telegraph reported another source inside the Conservative Party arguing the Part L policy was “madness” and it was now the right time to “kill off” the whole Green Deal, because the former energy secretary Chris Huhne has left his ministerial post in February.

This is despite the Green Deal being a flagship Conservative policy that was launched before the election.

Yesterday climate change minister Greg Barker said on Twitter that the Telegraph article was “bonkers”.

He said: “Telegraph article on Green Deal is bonkers! Green Deal is a Tory policy we developed in opposition & are very proud of!”

The backlash is reminiscent of what happened with previous iterations of the Part L regulations produced by the previous Labour government, which included proposals to introduce consequential improvements, only for the requirement to be taken out when the final regulations were published.