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ZERO-CARBON PLANS UNDER FIRE

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Gordon Brown's pre-Budget pledge that all new homes will be 'zero carbon' by 2016 misses the point that most househ...
Gordon Brown's pre-Budget pledge that all new homes will be 'zero carbon' by 2016 misses the point that most household emissions come from existing homes, officers say.

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.

Peter McEvoy, head of environmental services at South Derbyshire DC, said: 'I would welcome it as one way in which to set a direction, but it is only a small part of any solution.

'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.'

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