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21 August 2007


Robert Palgrave

"By adding new stock we are adding to capacity. We are adding to the demand (on the grid) not reducing it."

Absolutely - the imperative is to improve existing housing stock, and move the emphasis away from new-build low or zero carbon homes.

The Govt position on the Merton rule is 'unfortunate' in this regard, hobbling councils' only effective power to get private housing stock improved.

If we could persuade adult children to stay living at home until (say) 30, we could cut the demand for new housing and reduce energy use and emissions.

Maybe the Govt could be persuaded to introduce an "Offspring Obligations scheme". In outline - you keep your kids at home until 30, and in return you get tax or carbon credits funded by those parents who have let their kids go out and buy their own place...The computer systems to run this would only take a decade or so to de-bug.

I'm sure the carbon savings would exceed those from replacing all the UK's incandescent light bulbs (about 1% of the UK total isn't it?)

Phil Clark

Wow, that's a pretty radical idea Robert. I'm not sure you'd have the overwhelming support amongst the 20-something generation, but given the current state of house prices it's perhaps not as crazy a notion as it sounded when I first read it.

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