On Friday at the Church House Conference Centre, Westminster, the CIRIA/ DTI's Global Watch Mission reported back on their "Towards zero carbon housing - lessons from Northern Europe" visit and research. The principle behind this was to investigate the construction of housing in Sweden, Denmark & Germany, countries that have housing with annual energy consumption for space heating of well below 2,000 kWh and to feedback back the knowledge gained during the process into the UK. The mission members were varied in background however all had significant experience in different areas of construction - be it from a housing association, volume house builder etc. The extremely well attended event showed what a hot issue this is today in the UK.
What came clear to me from the report was that to achieve the requirements of the future we need a joined up solution that encompasses Passive House design, along with some new products and an improvement in our construction skills. On top of this we need local planners to have the time to receive the education to train them up on aspects of MMC, new technologies AND an adoption of both carrot and stick to push through more energy efficient homes.
So will the chancellor look at tax incentives for the adoption of energy efficiency in construction?and how about making it more beneficial to put power into the grid from households and thus make the pay-back time for new energy providing technologies shorter and more accessable for the masses?
I look forward to hearing if the Chancellor has listened to the findings from the DTI mission...