The cost of going zero carbon in 2016 could add 30% to the average construction cost of a home. This equates to a £25,000 increase in the cost of a dwelling.
This figure was given in a government policy statement on how it plans to move to carbon neutral homes by 2016.
On average, the build costs for homes that generate all their energy from onsite renewables will be 19% more than current costs.
John Slaughter, the external affairs director of the Home Builders Federation, said the costs seemed quite high.
He said: “The figures show quite an increase but as they are the first we’ve had, we have nothing to compare them to. They seem to be saying that microgeneration is not that cost-effective and they underline the need for a hard-headed discussion with government about how to achieve a low-carbon energy supply.”
The statement argues against allowing councils to set their own energy policy
The Building a Greener Future statement argues against allowing councils to set their own energy policies. Instead, they will be obliged to have their approach scrutinised in public, and by an independent inspector.
The statement added that a final definition of zero carbon, necessary to apply stamp duty relief, would be unveiled by the Treasury in October.
Emissions from all energy use in the home, including from appliances and cooking, will be considered when assessing zero-carbon homes, despite the industry’s pleas that it has no control over what people choose to do in their homes.
A study for the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment has concluded that sustainable communities are at least as commercially viable as conventional developments as they command higher prices.
For more on sustainability go to www.building.co.uk/sustainability