Leeds property news: Zero carbon target drop welcome boost for builders

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The Government’s decision to remove unnecessary zero carbon standards for new homes will boost the supply of housing via small and medium-sized (SME) house builders, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Sarah McMonagle, head of external affairs at the FMB, said: “The UK’s new homes have never been so energy efficient but the target for all new homes to be zero carbon by 2016 was overly ambitious. The attempt to get down to the ‘zero’ of ‘zero carbon’ through proposed payments for off-site mitigation and further renewable technology threatened to impose significant additional costs on SME house builders – in short, this would have held back their ability to build more new homes. Small local builders typically build more bespoke homes, with a strong focus on quality and high standards of energy efficiency. Yet over recent years it has been these smaller firms which have been hit disproportionately hard by the rapid pace of change. This burdensome regulation came at a time when SME house builders were beginning to recover and build more new homes which is crucial if we want to keep pace with the demand for new housing. The Government is therefore right to remove the unnecessary zero carbon standards which threatened to perpetuate the housing crisis.”

McMonagle continued: “There has been an increasing feeling that the standards were in danger of running ahead of the industry’s understanding and ability to deliver. The UK will still have to meet the target set by the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive that all new homes are ‘nearly zero-energy’ by the end of 2020. Right now, a period of consolidation makes good sense.”