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Chancellor endorses Zero Carbon targets
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Government today published its 2013 Budget, in which the commitment to zero carbon homes from 2016 is reaffirmed. Amidst a number of other housing related announcements, the commitment to ‘zero carbon homes’ is accompanied by a commitment to publish a detailed plan setting out Government’s response to the 2012 building regulations consultation on energy efficiency requirements.


George Osborne today outlined the government's commitment to the Zero Carbon Home target - “The Government is committed to implementing ‘zero carbon homes’ from 2016. The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) will publish a detailed plan, setting out its response to the 2012 consultation on the energy efficiency requirements in building regulations, by May 2013. The Government will then consult on next steps, including on the means of delivering allowable solutions, by Summer Recess.”

Many in the industry had feared the government may be rethinking its commitment to the 2016 zero carbon target, after the Department for Communities and Local Government delayed its response to a consultation on changes to Part L of the building regulations, which in part is aimed at setting out the green standards that builders should adhere to leading up to the 2016 target.

Commenting on the announcements, Neil Jefferson, Chief Executive Zero Carbon Hub said: “Today's budget statement is helpful and further announcements in coming months will help provide the clarity and certainty that we all need."

RICS, commenting on the budget, said "The range of measures announced under the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme to kick start the housing market are much needed. Helping those who can’t afford large deposits by using the Government’s balance sheet to guarantee mortgages and using capital savings to offer shared equity loans on new build for all buyers will help prevent prolonged market stagnation - although it presents a significant risk to Government. The devil will be in the detail about how the Government will treat buy-to-let and those in negative equity. RICS will monitor the impact on the market and prices.

However, Government need to be careful this doesn’t create another housing bubble – pushing prices up at the expense of buyers.

“Once again, the Chancellor has reeled off the two infrastructure projects that Government has actually started – Hinkley Point and Battersea Power Station – and vaguely referenced others that are in the pipeline and will one day receive private investment through previously announced guarantee schemes and the much trailed Pension Infrastructure Platform. The £3bn a year announced by the Chancellor is welcome but will not come on stream until 2015-16 – far too late for many businesses that are struggling now. Our members have told us repeatedly that the success of infrastructure projects are about delivery on the ground. RICS believe Government should spend more time and resource in supporting business to gain access to these public sector projects.

“The Government has largely failed to realise that infrastructure projects don’t need to be big to be effective in creating growth. In fact small might very well be beautiful. Across the regions and the nations it’s the smaller repair, maintenance and upgrade projects which can be picked up by medium and small construction businesses. Rail maintenance and school refurbishment are just two areas where a small amount of capital investment would quickly deliver great benefits.



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