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Government row-back on green homes could mean higher energy bills for consumers

The domestic renewable energy industry has condemned the Government’s suggestion to do away with the 2008 Planning and Energy Act. The Act, promoted by Michael Fallon, who is now Energy Minister, provides local authorities with the ability to set specific carbon, renewable energy and energy efficiency targets for new build properties (the so-called ‘Merton Rule’). The suggestion is part of the Government’s consultation on the Housing Standards Review, published yesterday.

The recent update to national Building Regulations did not impose strict enough carbon reduction targets to incentivise the integration of on-site renewables (such as solar energy systems, heat pumps and biomass boilers) into new properties. DCLG admitted this in its Impact Assessment. The Planning and Energy Act’s ‘Merton Rule’ is therefore the only policy tool explicitly incentivising on-site renewables in new homes, and must remain available to local authorities at least until Building Regulations are sufficiently strong to drive uptake of on-site renewables in new homes (which will not be before 2016 at the earliest).

Read the full joint press release by ACE, the Renewable Energy Association, the Micropower Council and the Solar Trade Association.

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Comments (3)

  • Avatar

    Keith Lodge


    The government’s undermining of the countries sustainable future is a treasonable act and needs to be dealt with as such.
    The return on investment for this governments policies on energy for the population is negative with the social and economic costs of the depletion of non renewable resources, the destruction of the environment go unaccounted for and are paid by everybody excepting the exploiters of the increased value through scarcity.
    The rate of increase in fuel and food poverty and the escalation in physical losses – drought, famine, destruction of property and health through climate change – are the costs this government and its backers wilfully ignore at the peril of all future generations. That is treason.


  • Avatar

    Jon Lewes


    “..doing away with the 2008 Planning and Energy Act “, together with the requirements in the Home Energy Conservation Act 1955 being reduced to guidance only, means that there will be no obligation on Councils, nor anyone else, to meet the desultory 10% reduction in household carbon emissions by 2016..
    Leaves the way clear to continuing uncontrolled CO2e emissions..


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