Housing Minister Margaret Beckett has set out the Government's proposals to make all new homes zero carbon from 2016.

She said the consultation process will enable the detailed requirements to be set.

The government’s consultation will look into:

  • an increased level of energy efficiency in the fabric of new homes
  • setting a minimum level of carbon reduction that developers must achieve on the site of the housing development, such as through improved insulation, or providing onsite renewable energy
  • how developers can tackle the remaining carbon emissions of the new homes, by choosing measures from a list of "allowable solutions", such as providing energy efficient appliances with the home or exporting low and zero carbon heat and cooling to surrounding developments
  • setting a limit on the amount expected to be spent on these allowable solutions, to provide the house-building industry certainty over maximum costs of the policy
  • reviewing the list of allowable solutions in 2012 to ensure they will be sufficiently available within the cost limit that has been set and to check whether the proposed list of allowable solutions needs to be updated

Twenty five per cent of the UK's carbon emissions are produced by housing, while zero carbon status is measured against the annual emissions from heating, ventilation, hot water and fixed lighting.

Zero Carbon Hub's chief executive Neil Jefferson added: ‘Publication of the consultation is a crucial step in moving beyond the high level policy commitment that was made last year to delivering zero carbon homes on the ground.’

The consultation runs until 18 March 2009.