The UK government’s decision to scrap Allowable Solutions and its zero-carbon policy has been received negatively by those in the construction industry.
The decision – justified on the basis that it could help ensure planning decisions are made more quickly – is outlined in chancellor George Osborne’s productivity plan, Fixing the Foundations. It “does not intend to proceed with the zero-carbon Allowable Solutions carbon-offsetting scheme, or the proposed 2016 increase in onsite energy efficiency standards”.
Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive of the UK Green Building Council, said:
“Let us be in no doubt this announcement is the death knell for zero carbon homes. It is short-sighted, unnecessary, retrograde and damaging to the house building industry which has invested heavily in delivering energy efficient homes. Britain needs more housing but there is no justification for building homes with a permanent legacy of high energy bills.
“The Government has not consulted the house building industry sufficiently on this sudden announcement. This arbitrary and regressive action was not mandated by the Conservative Party manifesto. Just last year the Conservative-led coalition Government enabled the allowable solutions policy in legislation. This stop-start policy making approach gives industry no confidence in the Government’s vision for a low carbon economy and condemns new home owners to higher energy bills.”
Rob Lambe, Managing Director of Willmott Dixon Energy Services, said:
“Since the original Zero Carbon announcement Willmott Dixon has been supportive of setting a long term trajectory enabling industry to invest with confidence. This announcement seriously undermines industry confidence in government policy and will diminish future investment.”
Paul King, Managing Director Sustainability, Communications & Marketing LendLease Europe, said:
“Industry needs as much policy clarity and consistency as possible in order to invest and innovate, and after almost 10 years of commitment and progress, UK house builders and developers have come a very long way. It is therefore extremely disappointing that the Government has today removed a World-leading ambition for all new homes to be zero carbon from 2016.”