The policy is the first of its kind globally. It should help to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions and drive innovation within the house-building and energy industries, making developers and energy service companies more competitive in these evolving markets. Thus potentially it has a win-win outcome. However, the feasibility of delivering either is widely contested particularly without significant government intervention.
The United Kingdom can learn lessons from it’s neighbours in Europe and some of the more progressive states in the USA in terms delivering energy efficient housing, energy-plus housing and decentralised renewable energy systems. However, the most successful examples tend to utilise both regulation and fiscal interventions. This does not sit well with the more laissez-faire, free-market approach of the United Kingdom which largely relys on innovation in the private sector driven by a non-existent market to deliver the revolution needed in the energy and housing industries.
The Zero Carbon Homes Project has sought to investigate the lessons that can be learnt from the European and American models and applied to the situation in the United Kingdom most effectively. This paper presents these findings.