Parliamentary committee urges zero carbon standard for new houses to be required well before 2016

A parliamentary committee has called for an acceleration of the Code for Sustainable Homes standard for new properties.

A report by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee says it is “puzzled” why it is “not already mandatory to build all new housing” to the zero carbon standard. “The Government must not only require all new houses to be built to a ‘zero carbon’ standard well before 2016, but must ensure that existing regulations are rigorously enforced,” it says.

The report, called Climate change: the “citizen's agenda” also calls for feed-in tariffs for household microgeneration of renewable energy to be made available. "The existing combination of grants and Renewable Obligation Certificates is far too unreliable and unwieldy for domestic and community microgeneration, and risks losing citizen engagement,” it says.

And it criticises the Government’s own record in greening its estate. “There is an important role for public buildings and public investment in leading the way by example, but very little evidence of this taking place. The Government’s—and Parliament’s—poor record regarding its own estate fails to set a good example.”