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Carbon neutral homes

Carbon neutral homes

Category: Ethical

Updated: 31/10/2008
First Published: 10/07/2007

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The Government have recently announced plans that all new homes in England will have to be carbon neutral by 2016. With the UK's housing stock responsible for nearly 30% of all CO2 emissions, the Government believes that these measures are critical to it meeting its targets of cutting CO2 emissions by 60% by 2050.

With the demand for new housing showing no signs of letting up, the Government is keen to use this as an opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions by making new homes and buildings as carbon neutral as possible.

Stamp duty neutral

  • A carbon neutral house is defined as being a property with 'zero net emissions of carbon dioxide from all energy use in the home'. This includes the energy used by all appliances such as TVs and cookers, as well as heating and hot water systems.
  • The Government wants to tempt developers to build carbon neutral homes with a financial incentive of zero stamp duty on carbon neutral homes.

Can we afford to wait until 2016?

  • Eco-friendly homes and carbon neutral homes all sound great, but most of us either can't afford to buy a fashionable eco-friendly pad, or don't want to hang around for nearly a decade until they become more available and affordable.
  • Whilst we applaud the Government for taking action, a lot will depend upon developers' willingness to build carbon neutral homes. That will all boil down to whether or not there is sufficient demand from consumers and sufficient profit in it for them.

Ten ways you can take action right now

A lot of the plans for carbon neutral homes are actually simple things that the vast majority of us can do right now. For example:

  1. Reduce, reuse and recycle
  2. Switch to a green energy tariff
  3. Turn down your thermostat by a couple of degrees
  4. Always use low energy appliances
  5. Don't leave electrical appliances on standby
  6. Insulate your loft and hot water tank
  7. Install a water meter
  8. Have a cup of tea, but only boil enough water for what you need
  9. Install water butts
  10. Start composting

So the message is clear, you don't need to save up for ten years to buy an eco-friendly home. Don't wait for the Government to force you to act – make a start right now!

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.