The House of Lords have ousted a bill to scrap zero carbon homes. The national standard for new homes, Home Quality Mark, is pleased by the news.
Gwyn Roberts, Project Lead at Home Quality Mark (HQM), said: “We welcome news that household energy efficiency remains on the agenda and that carbon has been recognised by the Lords as still being a significant threat to long-term global health. We urge everyone to remember that we shouldn’t think about carbon in isolation and that levels of comfort in the living environment particularly with regard to air quality and overheating are equally significant.
“It’s also important to note the negative impact of embodied carbon – emitted during the manufacture, transport and construction of building materials – together with end of life emissions.
“Critically, the housing sector must not raise consumers’ expectations without being able to deliver. As such we need to make sure that zero carbon homes do actually perform as they promise; as well as sounding great on paper they also need to afford the people that live in them associated and tangible benefits. We saw this mistake play out with the diesel car saga to quite significant levels meaning the performance gap is, understandably, now looked at with increased scrutiny across all sectors, including housing.
“As a consumer-facing standard, the HQM is well placed to support the house buyer and renter. It is the only independent Mark available to inform consumers about the performance of their new build homes across a number of disciplines: including its impact on health and well-being; cost efficiency; environmental footprint. It is a mark of excellence for the house builder and a symbol of trust for the consumer.”