Councillor Mike Deacon has welcomed the support of East Suffolk Council for a Labour motion recommending the introduction of new energy requirements in all new build housing.
Following its declaration of a Climate Emergency in July 2019 and its application to tackle harmful emissions, East Suffolk Council has taken steps to ensure all new house building in the district is as energy efficient as possible.
In response to a motion submitted by the East Suffolk Labour Group at the start of the year, the Cabinet in early May at their virtual meeting pledged to minimise carbon emissions in all new build council houses, to encourage private developers to meet higher standards, and to look at ways to retrofit its current stock.
Celebrating this new move Labour Cllr Mike Deacon, representing Western Felixstowe, said:
“The building sector is responsible for around 25% of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions, so reducing energy demand and further decarbonising the housing construction process is crucial to meeting our carbon zero goal.
“To date, East Suffolk has worked hard to improve the energy efficiency of our social housing that has benefited the tenants with warmer homes and lower bills as well as reducing CO2 emissions, but going forward we need to be looking at greener building technologies and innovative ideas at the design stage to ensure we build homes fit for the 21st century.
“All new homes need to be carbon neutral within the constraints of site layout and financial viability but such homes are mainstream elsewhere and I’ve every confidence we can encourage sustainable development across the whole of the housing sector here too.”
Housing Team Officers from East Suffolk are currently researching the development of a ‘green standard’ specification for new build with the aspiration of migrating the standard current specification to this new goal.
Labour’s 2019 manifesto committed to introducing a tough, new zero carbon homes standard for all new build homes, and to upgrading tens of millions of existing homes to make them more energy efficient. Just 1% of new homes received the highest ‘A’ energy rating in 2018. Consequently home-owners in up to a third of a million new build homes are paying over £200 per year more on their energy bills as a result of the Conservatives’ decision to scrap the zero carbon homes standard.