A coalition of environmental groups and businesses are calling on Oxfordshire councils to ensure that all homes across the country are built to ‘net-zero carbon’ standards as soon as possible.
In a letter sent together, he coalition, which includes Friends of the Earth and Oxfordshire Zero Carbon Homes Initiative (OZCHI) have asked the councils to work with each other and with the Growth Board and the Local Enterprise Partnership to ‘develop, set and implement a new common standard that will deliver net-zero carbon homes’ and also to work with the government and other agencies to make Oxfordshire a ‘Zero Carbon Homes Innovation Zone.’
This follows a recent announcement by central government that local councils can now set higher energy standards for new homes.
Chris Church of Oxford FoE, one of the founders of OZCHI, said: ‘Our County faces serious housing pressure over the next decade. Our concern is that however many new houses are to be built, they should all be of the highest possible environmental quality. All new homes should be built to net-zero carbon standards as soon as possible.
‘If we fail to do this it is likely that all the new homes to be built in the next years will later need expensive retrofitting to bring them up to higher standards that will come in as part of our national move towards a net-zero economy.
‘Zero Carbon Homes are coming – the only question is when and how fast. Recent work here in Oxfordshire has shown that these can be affordable as well as cheap to live in. This could be an issue where our county can take a lead and derive real and lasting benefit.’
In related news, OFTEC, the trade and marketing body for the liquid fuel heating and cooking industry has warned that the government must not forget rural homes in the long-awaited Heat in Buildings strategy.
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