Carbon zero homes are a long way off, says CML

The Council of Mortgage Lenders say carbon zero homes are a long way off being produced.

It says it will be decades before we can build eco-towns of zero carbon homes, saying that housing shortage will continue to drive up prices and therefore constrain the ability to build, and pay for, carbon neutral homes.

A spokesman for the CML, says: “The reality is that agreeing a standard for new zero carbon homes is only a starting point.

“The market still has to deliver them. Perhaps we will only really be able to assess the true impact of the drive to build zero carbon homes when we can see how many of them are actually built, and how many are also powered by zero carbon sources of energy.

“Building zero carbon homes will have costs, and consumers will have difficult choices to make.

“Clearly, there is now a strong groundswell of opinion demanding action on the environment, but we still do not really understand how people will react when measures to reduce damage to the environment begin to impose significant constraints on lifestyles and household budgets.

“At this stage, we simply do not know enough about building carbon neutral homes to know when they might be built in significant numbers or whether consumers will be prepared to pay a premium for them.

“Housing affordability is already tightly constrained and will be so for the foreseeable future, despite new prime minister’s ambition to increase the supply of homes.

“Given continuing affordability constraints, how much more will people be able and prepared to pay for a carbon neutral home?

“How will that compare with the extra cost of producing them? Is it possible to build a significant number of carbon neutral homes in locations that people will find attractive?

“And what role is there for the government and how will it use fiscal
policy to deliver its objectives?

He adds: “ Not least among the difficulties is the continuing shortage of homes, which will continue to drive up property prices and constrain the potential to build, and pay for, carbon neutral homes.”