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20 August 2007


Nick Devlin

I wondered how long before this would raise its' head. You can certainly see the logic in the lobbyists claims, that they want a national target rather than varying conditions depending on location. But surely, the 10% requirement should only be dropped once there is a national framework as replacement and not before. And lets face it, if one were to draw a roadmap of achieving zero-carbon dwellings by 2016, we should already be looking at 20% over the next 18 months. This of course is side stepping the whole debate about the most cost-effective and appropriate way to deliver a large proportion of renewables to housing.

Interestingly, schemes required to meet Level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes (RSL's at present) are required to demonstrate a 25% improvement in their regulated CO2 emissions compared to building regs. On the number of projects that I have reviewed, only about two thirds of this figure can be achieved through reasonable improvements to the insulation and airtightness standards. Therefore, renewables seem to be required anyhow.

Phil Clark

There's a few more twists and turns on this debate, not least the report this morning by the New Local Government Network calling for more local powers for councils to encourage on-site renewables. I have yet to get the report yet but will post on it when I do.
One suggestion from Stuart Macdonald at Building http://www.building.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=318&storycode=3093766 (subscriber only) is that there will be government targets for renewable energy to power sites, but not necessarily for it to be via on-site installations.

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