Government’s Green housing plan under fire as developers claim it is ‘unworkable’
Government plans for a ‘green housing revolution’ are unworkable, developers have warned.
Ministers want tough standards to slash the carbon footprint of new homes from 2025, with ‘stepping stone’ measures before then.
The shake-up will see developers banned from connecting properties to the gas grid and encouraged to roll out air-source heat pumps, solar panels and better insulation.
Eco homes: Ministers want to see developers banned from connecting properties to the gas grid and encouraged to roll out air-source heat pumps, solar panels and better insulation
But housing bosses believe a deadline for the first changes this year is unrealistic because the UK lacks the workforce and enough heat pumps.
Pete Redfern, the boss of Taylor Wimpey, said firms have been told to prepare for an October deadline. ‘We just don’t think that’s workable – there’s just not the supply chain.
‘Having a much longer run-in period… we’d actually grab. Sometimes doing things better but taking a bit longer is the right result.’
Industry group the Home Builders Federation (HBF) also branded the proposals ‘unrealistic’ and urged a delay.
The Government has vowed to cut the UK’s carbon footprint to ‘net zero’ by 2050, with home emissions key.
Ministers have promised a ‘future homes standard’ in 2025, slashing emissions from new homes by 75 per cent to 80 per cent.
‘Stepping stone’ measures will be introduced earlier, with an official consultation proposing ‘mid to late’ 2020. The hope is that these will cut new home emissions by 31 per cent.
A less ambitious, second option would cut them by 20 per cent.
Developers say the preferred option would probably require them to stop using gas heating systems and use air-source heat pumps instead.
But the HBF said the annual output of these pumps is just 38,000, against 250,000 homes built in 2019.
It also says there are only around 900 registered heat pump engineers.
The industry group favours the less ambitious option and for an 18-24 month ‘transition’ period. This would delay the 31 per cent targets until 2023.
A Government spokesman said: ‘We have set an ambitious but achievable target.’