Zero-carbon homes are too expensive for consumers and are uneconomic to design, according to some of the UK’s biggest housebuilders, who have urged the government to rethink building regulations on green homes.
In 2006, the Labour government said that all new homes from 2016 must be built to “zero carbon” standards - part of efforts to reduce CO2 emissions by 60 per cent by 2050.
Since 2008, all new homes have been given a sustainability rating based on categories covering energy, water, and materials in the Code for Sustainable Homes.
However, there is growing unease in the construction industry over whether the zero-carbon target is achievable.
Some of the UK’s largest house builders have revealed that they are unable to recoup the extra costs involved.
Miller Homes and Persimmon have complained about the “zero-carbon premium” putting green homes beyond the budget of most house buyers.
Additional features needed to make a house zero carbon could add between £35,000 and £50,000 to the selling price, they added.
British Property Federation chief executive Liz Peace said: “There is no hope of zero carbon homes.”
Housing Minister Grant Shapps has promised to clear up confusion about the definition of zero carbon later this summer, but industry experts, including the HVCA, have said that the government would deliver more carbon savings if it focused on “low carbon” rather than zero carbon.