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Business leaders urge rethink on zero carbon homes axe

Business leaders urge rethink on zero carbon homes axe

2 August 2015 Email this article

Business leaders have signed an open letter urging the Chancellor to reconsider scrapping the zero carbon homes target, as outlined in the Government’s Fixing the Foundations report.

Co-ordinated by the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), the letter has been signed by directors and executives from 246 organisations, including Lend Lease, Sir Robert McAlpine, Bouygues, BuroHappold, Willmott Dixon and the British Property Federation.

The letter to George Osborne argues that “abandoning the zero carbon policy will have regressive impacts and be harmful to British industry”.

It calls on the Chancellor to rethink his decision and engage with businesses in dialogue to find a “mutually acceptable way forward”.

Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive at UKGBC, says her organisation has been “inundated” with inquiries from members who wanted to do something to challenge the decision, which is why the letter has been written.

Claims have been made that zero carbon homes are too expensive, but a recent BBC report showed a property near Bridgend built for £1,000 per sq m, within the target price for social housing.

Meanwhile, the Building Research Establishment is near to completing a new eco-home on its innovation site near Watford, in Hertfordshire.

Supporters of zero carbon homes say they will continue to build on the work already done to create them, despite the Treasury’s decision. 

Rob Lambe, managing director of the energy services arm of Willmott Dixon, says a huge amount of work has been done over the past 10 years, with investment of tens of millions of pounds to develop detailed solutions required to deliver zero carbon homes.