Home buyers should not be able to buy a zero-carbon house without guidance about how to live in it, according to the head of the National House Building Council.

Imtiaz Farookhi, chief executive of the NHBC, told the EcoBuild conference that research shortly to be published by the council would show how little consumers knew about how low-carbon living would affect their lives.

He said the research revealed an urgent need to increase understanding of how homes that met the highest levels of the Code for Sustainable Homes would work.

He said: “One thing is clear.

We cannot hand over the keys to a brand new level-six home safely without providing comprehensive, clear information and guidance to go along with it.”