Government slammed over ‘irresponsible’ zero carbon homes cull

Criticism of the government’s recent decisions over green initiatives has showed no sign of abating after it was rounded upon for deciding not to proceed with the zero carbon Allowable Solutions scheme.

Last week the Treasury confirmed in its Productivity Plan that it does not intend to proceed with the scheme, which allowed housing developers to offset carbon emissions through remote measures if on-site methods were unsuitable.

The government also scrapped a proposed increase in on-site energy efficiency standards for next year, but did state that the standards would be kept under review to allow existing energy efficiency policy to become established.

The opposition Labour party’s communities and local government department was acerbic in its disapproval of the plans, stating the decision to be a “short-sighted” one that would “hurt consumers, damage the house building industry [and] cost jobs and investment”.

Former Liberal Democrat MP and energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey also weighed in on the decision on Twitter, saying Prime Minister David Cameron “might as well hug a coal power station” due to the timing of the move being so close to other anti-green policy decision.

Mike Landy, head of policy at the Solar Trade Association, also condemned the decision. He said: “This retrograde and disappointing move by the Government effectively ends its zero carbon buildings policy, at a time when reducing emissions and energy bills are more important than ever.”

“The cost of solar PV has come down by over 60% in recent years and reductions are set to continue. The occupants of new homes will be the real losers from this, paying hundreds of pounds more for their energy.

“The Government is putting environmental and energy policy into reverse at the very time its Committee on Climate Change is calling for more, not less action. To us that seems irresponsible,” added Landy.