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Archive for December, 2008

In case you don’t fancy wading through it, this is a brief summary of the zero carbon consultation doc. While nothing will be finalised until next summer (after they’ve ruminated over the responses), the document does give some insight into the way CLG is leaning on some issues.

At the core of the document is the government’s preferred framework for reaching zero carbon. In order of priority:

  1. A minimum standard of energy efficiency will be required.
  2. A minimum carbon reduction should be achieved through a combination of energy efficiency, onsite low and zero carbon (LZC) technologies, and directly connected heat. This is referred to as achieving carbon compliance.
  3. Any remaining emissions should be dealt with using allowable solutions, including offsite energy.

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So the consultation on zero carbon is out. If you haven’t read it yet, you can download it here.

Deadline for responses is 18 March so there’s plenty of time to make your voice heard. If you’re wondering whether there’s any point in responding, I would say absolutely. During the recent consultation on electricity markets I had a chance to see the process from both sides and I was surprised at just how seriously responses are taken.

And this consultation is a biggie. The UK has committed itself to an 80% cut in carbon by 2050 and the built environment is going to have to shoulder at least its proportional share of these reductions, with all new homes going “zero carbon” from 2016. This consultation is crucial because it feeds directly into the long term strategy for de-carbonising new buildings. It’s a chance to have your say before the regulations are finalised, so speak now our forever bitch ineffectively down the pub.

In an upcoming post I’ll give a quick summary of the consultation document. Then, in future posts, I hope to concentrate on a few of the issues that I feel are particularly important.

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See?

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Just under the wire! The CLG has published the consultation on zero carbon. Big hat tip to Mr Devlin. Comments to follow shortly.

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Just to warn you, this post is a bit trite and must have been done before, but here goes…

I reckon if you chipped all the Christmas trees in the UK and fed them into a biomass CHP , you’d provide enough zero carbon heat and electricity to supply about 25,000 new homes for the entire year.

If you can be bothered, here’s how I got there:

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At the end of last week, I was happy to hear that Jonathon Porritt had joined the board at Wilmott Dixon. It’s particularly poignant timing, given the beating the industry has taken in recent months: Wilmott Dixon is underlining their commitment to achieving the carbon reductions that will be required in the built environment in the runup to 2016 and beyond.

Ok, you could argue that he’s only going to be a non-executive director, so his influence will be limited to board level. That might not sound like such a bad thing, but working with a couple of developers of similar size,  I’ve been surprised to find genuine support for low carbon measures among the board only to run into a brick wall at operational level. One is no good without the other. But in WD’s case, let’s assume that vision is going to translate into action.

The point is, Wilmott Dixon have made this move at a time of low morale and deep skepticism in the construction industry. Many developers find themselves saddled with projects whose land values were agreed at the height of the property boom. In some cases, even where there’s a solid case for development, the banks refuse to offer credit. The zero carbon housing deadline in 2016 is looming and we haven’t even decided yet what “zero carbon” means or how it should be achieved. Who can blame developers who’ve sunk into a funk and dismiss those who talk about zero carbon as having their heads in the clouds?

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new look

We’ve got a new design here at Carbon Limited. Many thanks to design wizard Matthew Gould for his work on the logo. Also thanks to Sadish for the Misty Look theme. Let us know if you like it.

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