The Government is considering abandoning the use of the Code for Sustainable Homes for its flagship eco-towns programme.
Draft guidance, written by external consultants for the communities department, suggests that eco-town homes should instead be measured against a European model of energy output per square metre.
It says that the code’s emphasis on using on-site renewables to make homes carbon neutral makes little sense in developments of the scale of eco-towns. It says: “The proposed size of the eco-towns would make district-wide renewable power significantly more viable than on-plot microgeneration, allowing the adoption of simpler and more consumer-orientated measurement.”
However, the suggested level of output – 120kWh/m2 – means the homes would not actually reach zero carbon unless all of the electricity provided was from renewables.
The news comes as communities department officials are being lobbied to look at alternatives to the Code for Sustainable Homes, which developers say will add unnecessary costs to development.