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Zero Carbon Hub rates 2016 timeline progress as ‘Red/Amber’

by Mel Starrs on June 28, 2012

in Zero Carbon

Zero Carbon Hub recently published their 2016 Programme Delivery Timeline report (pdf, 7 pgs). Zero Carbon by 2016 is looking optimistic at best, given allowable solutions has not yet been defined:

Overview

The Zero Carbon Hub maintains a series of timelines and convenes a cross-industry ‘Timeline Group’ on a regular basis to review and report progress. The Timeline Group met on the 16th May 2012 and considered what progress had been made since the previous meeting on 20th January 2012.

The overall status remains at ‘Red Amber’ however the general consensus of the group was that the continual slow response of Government to address the critical issues raised by the timeline report is making the group very nervous. Indeed, the 2016 deadline may very soon need to be discussed in earnest.

In particular the lack of certainty with regard to the development of specific policies is now very serious. Several of the subjects in this report are in danger of being degraded. These include the Fabric Energy Efficiency Standard where uncertainty has become apparent, in particular whether the FEES methodology will be embedded in Part L 2013 and the potential impact on specifications from the introduction of quality assurance measures and processes. The 2013 step is very important but not knowing the final decision in this regard until April 2013 is a cause of considerable concern. It also includes ‘Scale up’ where the lack of investment in trialling the three aspects of the zero carbon hierarchy is a concern and one with strong links to skills and knowledge.

The group were disappointed that the Budget did not contain information on Allowable Solutions despite it being a key aspect of DCLG policy to do so, as stated in A Housing Strategy for England. Although the status of this item remains at Red the group felt strongly that of all the areas covered in this report it was now the most critical and would have been degraded further if the RAG scale had allowed.

The group awaits recommendations from Sir John Harman’s Local Housing Delivery Working Group and note that these will need urgent attention by government to give certainty to industry, for example over the future of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

The National Compliance methodology (SAP) remains at Red and looks likely to remain so, as many of the concerns raised by industry and indeed the Hub team do not form part of the proposals for SAP2012. The group stressed the importance of this area given the interdependency between SAP and each element of the zero carbon hierarchy.

The outstanding work on the Carbon Compliance Standard has not progressed since publication of the report in February 2011. The Hub has secured some external financial support to assist in developing some of these unresolved issues.

As planned, the group’s membership has been expanded to reflect the membership within the Taskforce and this has proved beneficial to the debate within the group.

Overall status – Red Amber, some aspects require substantial attention.

It’s worth reading the whole report, the graphic below is a good summary. As I keep saying, we need the finalised definition of zero carbon, well, NOW.

Funding for ZCH is only secured up to April 2013 (with a small shortfall in that year which will be made up with previous year’s surpluses).

The Harman Review is now out, which I’ll return to in another post.