There are believed to be fewer than 10 zero-carbon homes. The Department for Communities & Local Government admitted there were 'very few'.
The Beddington Zero Energy Development (BedZED), the UK's first and largest carbon-neutral eco-community, is one of the best-known examples. But it ran over budget and has not fully realised its zero-carbon aims.
Environment officers said the promise was achievable but it would account for only a small reduction in overall emissions.
'We need programmes to improve existing homes and the removal of red tape to allow rapid improvement to make micro-renewable energy schemes, for instance, exempt from requiring planning permission.'