The 2016 target always stood out as an ambitious government aim and you had to ask yourself why a Labour government that was so lamentable on its action to reduce the emissions of existing homes was being so stringent on new properties. Predictably the members of the Home Builders Federation were resistant from the start and increased cost of building for their membership would be a constant pressure to dilute the target. Ironically the feed in tariff for renewable electricity could completely negate the cost of installing solar photovoltaic panels for developers by assigning the tariff to them ( and would provide them with an income to boot). This could also be the same for renewable heat technologies dependent on the outcome of the Renewable Heat Incentive consultation in October. So ironically the 'eco-bling' as its critics call it, the highest cost could cost the developer nothing and indeed make them a profit.
|The Denby Dale Passivhaus|
So what are we to conclude from all this. Well the government would not be right to water down the Code for Sustainable Homes if anything it should be tightened up. Should we ignore microgeneration as many in the Passivhaus movement suggest? I don't think so, electricity consumption by homes remains an issue and if anything the use of photovoltaics should be mandatory on new build houses and the financial mechanisms that make this possible should be retained. The rumblings are that government is looking again at the tariff levels for the feed in tariff. Let's hope that if they are it doesn't take us backwards.