Labour is today announcing plans to make all new homes zero carbon within three years. This could save people living in new builds £200 a year in energy bills.

A Labour government will introduce a tough new “zero carbon standard”, which will mean that the day-to-day running of the home won’t add additional carbon to the atmosphere. This is achieved through better energy efficiency standards and low carbon and renewable energy sources, and could mean all new homes are fitted with solar panels, super-efficient insulation and triple-glazed windows, and are not fitted with fossil fuel heating systems such as gas boilers as standard.

The award-winning Goldsmith Street council housing development in Labour-led Norwich, which won the 2019 Royal Institute of British Architects’ Stirling Prize, recently showed similar world-leading energy efficiency standards in practice.

An original zero carbon homes standard, set out by the last Labour government, was due to come into force in 2016 but was scrapped by the Conservatives in 2015. This means around a third of a million families are living in lower-spec new homes that would have been greener and cheaper to run, which could have cost some up to £600.

The government’s own climate watchdog, the Committee on Climate Change, has said that government policy on housing standards is failing. It said “current policies are not driving the required changes” and that “policies to support low-carbon measures have been weakened or withdrawn”.

Daniel Zeichner MP said: “We need to ensure the building taking place across the city is fit for the future. Only a Labour government has plans to set common-sense rules which will save households money and cut emissions.”

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