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Code for Sustainable Homes costs – clarified (eventually)

by Mel Starrs on January 3, 2012

in Code for Sustainable Homes

Remember this post where I couldn’t find the figure of £4,458? I was determined to find out where the figure had come from. I emailed Andrew Stunnell, but as I wasn’t a constituent, his office couldn’t respond. They assured me the query was sent on to DCLG, but no response to date. I tried emailing my own MP to see if he would forward the query on. Again, no response. So I resorted to an FOI (even though strictly I knew it wasn’t really an FOI request). Finally I got the following response from Saima:

Thank you for your e-mail of 29th November.  It has has been passed to me
to respond as I work on Code Statistics.

You made your request under the Freedom of Information Act.  Having sought
advice however we have taken the view that this is not necessary in this
instance, primarily because the data used to calculate the two
averages are already publically available. The figures about Code 3 homes,
as presented in the press notice, were based on simple averages of the
house types and development scenarios presented in the main summary tables
in the 2008 and 2010 cost reports. The links to these reports are below,
alongside an indication of the relevant tables, across the various
location scenarios and house types listed in these tables.

Chapter 4 (page 31 onwards) here:
[1] http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/…

Table 4 (page 16) here:
[2] http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/…

The figures you quote were not actually in the report itself, but were
produced for the press release by comparing the summary Code costs
provided in previous cost reports with the latest summary figures.  They
are simple averages, designed to provide an illustration of comparative
costs over time.

However, as you will appreciate, given that costs are moving targets and
highly dependent on changing prices, criteria, demand and so forth this is
not area that lends itself to easily simplification.  The main message
from the press notice is that as the Code has bedded-down over time,
overall Code costs have started to come down.

So I was correct – the figures weren’t in the report. Glad I’ve cleared it up (though not quite in the league of Full Fact or Ben Goldacre).