MPs unclear on Government’s zero carbon housing deadline
– Consumer related issues seen as main barriers to targets being achieved –
The All-Party Group on Sustainable Housing today announces research into MPs’ attitudes and understanding with regards to the Government’s zero carbon housing target, which aims to see all new housing be zero carbon from 2016.
The research, conducted by ComRes, reveals that 72%* of MPs are unaware of the Government’s deadline, with 34%* incorrectly believing that the target doesn’t come into effect until 2020.
MPs were also asked to identify which issues they see as being potential barriers to achieving the target. Out of a list of various options the two directly relating to consumers came top; namely the “lack of consumer demand on the part of consumers for zero carbon homes” and the “higher cost of homes for consumers”.
Nick Raynsford MP, Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sustainable Housing, which commissioned the research, said:
“The All-Party Group on Sustainable Housing was set up earlier this year to provide MPs with a source of information and a forum for debate with industry and consumers as the UK moves to a low carbon, sustainable housing future. As part of this, we will be holding a seminar in the autumn looking into the key barriers to achieving the Government’s targets for zero carbon homes and ways to overcome them. We encourage as many Parliamentarians as possible to get involved and find out more about the practical solutions for taking this policy forward.”
Imtiaz Farookhi, Chief Executive of the National House Building Council (NHBC), which sets standards for new and newly-converted homes in the UK, commented:
“It is important that consumers’ interests are the top priority in the work to deliver zero carbon homes. We are investing in the work of the NHBC Foundation and Zero Carbon Hub to help ensure that homes of the future are both functional and desirable for homeowners.”
Additional key findings include:
- 70%* of MPs say that it is true that more than a quarter of UK carbon emissions come from housing. However, 14%* think this is false and a further 13%* “don’t know”
- Taken together, more than a quarter of MPs (27%)* are unaware that more than a quarter of UK carbon emissions come from housing
- 83%* of MPs correctly say that all new homes are now awarded a code level rating on the basis of their sustainability, while only 6%* think this is false and 9%* “don’t know”
- Taken together, more than one in ten MPs (15%)* are unaware of this development
Notes to editors
- ComRes surveyed 150 MPs on its Parliamentary Panel, with the research taking place between 29th June and 30th July this year. MPs’ views were captured via self-completion postal questionnaires and online. The data was weighted to reflect the exact composition of the House of Commons in terms of both party representation and regional consistency distribution.
- ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules
- The full research project with all results can be viewed at www.comres.co.uk
- The All Party Parliamentary Group on Sustainable Housing was set up on January 2009 to increase awareness in Parliament of sustainable new housing; to highlight developments in technology in the run up to 2016 and the target for zero carbon homes; to encourage best practice in construction and development for all the house building industry; and to promote increased awareness amongst consumers about the energy efficiency of their homes.
- The secretariat for the APPG on Sustainable Housing is provided by NHBC, the National House-Building Council
- NHBC is the standard setting body and leading warranty and insurance provider for new and newly converted homes in the UK. Started in 1936 as the National House-Builders Registration Council, NHBC has worked consistently to raise the construction standards of new homes and provide protection for new homebuyers. As the UK’s leading warranty and insurance provider for new homes, NHBC’s Buildmark warranty cover more than 80% of new homes built in the UK and currently protects approximately 1.7 million homes. Over the past 40 years, NHBC has protected more than 30% of existing homes in the UK.
- *Results referenced above relate to the following survey questions:To the best of your knowledge, which of the following statements are true and which are false? (True / False / Don’t know)
- Over a quarter of UK carbon emissions come from housing
- All new homes are now awarded a code level rating on the basis of their sustainability, information on which must be provided to consumers up-front when purchasing a home
- The Government’s target for energy efficiency in new homes built in 2010 is 10% stricter than similar targets in 2006
- The Government’s target for energy efficiency in new homes built in 2010 is 25% stricter than similar targets in 2006
- The Government has set a target that by 2012, all new housing must be “zero carbon”
- The Government has set a target that by 2016, all new housing must be “zero carbon”
- The Government has set a target that by 2020, all new housing must be “zero carbon”
- To what extent, if at all, are the following factors barriers to the successful delivery of the Government’s target for zero carbon homes? Please rate on a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 = “not at all” and 5 = to a great extent:
- Lack of consumer demand on the part consumers for zero carbon homes
- The higher cost of zero carbon homes for consumers
- Availability of suitable technologies for small-scale energy production, like heat pumps, solar panels and biomass boilers
- The usability of these technologies
- A shortage of the skills in the house-building workforce needed to install these new technologies
- A lack of information available to house-builders about the zero carbon target
- Constraints on the supply chain for renewable technologies – components, materials and necessary infrastructure for example