Thursday, Dec 07, 2006

BBC pro-NL spin before your very eyes!

BBC 'news': New homes to be 'zero emission'

The majority of newly built homes in the UK should be "zero-carbon" by 2016, according to the pre-Budget report. What a difference a word makes... See how the BBC substitute the word 'to' for the word 'should'. It's not even as if they couldn't fit it into the headline! A quick glance at that headline implies to me the Goverment are going to legislate that all new houses are going to be built to 'zero emission' standards.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 11:02 AM (551 views)
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17 Comments

1. p. o. o. r said...

For me this is fantastic news, as I am involved with one aspect, which can significantly improve the energy efficiency rating of a house, and something that should not add additional cost to the homeowner / buyer. This in turn helps towards making a house "Zero-carbon". It will be interesting to see how far the government goes towards achieving this target - the only way I can see is for them to offer substantial grants to industry so that they can invest in the technology that is becoming available. What I am still not sure about is what they rate as "Zero rated" and whether this is realistically achievable.

For me this would be a house that produces a surplus requirement of electricity, does not use Gas, and has it's own water supply / water treatment system. This is going to cost, and there would only be a limited number of houses that achieve this. Not sure how this could be done with flats and small terraced houses, where they do not have the gardens for wind turbines of the roof space for solar panels.

It would be nice for the government to have a sliding scale where certain types of property would be exempt from stamp duty depending upon the level of energy efficiency they reached. Obviously a large detached house with lots of land would have a much higher target. There should also be a rebate system for existing homeowners, where they can get a grant say to the amount of stamp duty that would be applicable to their property should they invest in making these improvements.

Thursday, December 7, 2006 12:51PM Report Comment
 

2. Cstanhope707 said...

Mr POOR I am glad your happy, I have no issues with low enegry homes, that is a good thing but it should be up to the free market to decide. To me Global Warming is just nothing more than an excuse by the ECO Facists to create yet more Overpaid underworked Pen Pushing posts in the Public Sector.

I am fed up with more and more of these stupid regulations and associated red tape........

Thursday, December 7, 2006 12:57PM Report Comment
 

3. bidin'matime said...

Sorry to sound like a wet-blanket, but this sounds like a typical New Labour 'feel-good' announcement that will go the way of all the others - wasnt it Tony Bliar who said 'education, education, education' - and then went on to oversee a school system that turns out more illiterate 16 year olds than ever before? I'm sure that there will be far more interesting things to do than pursue this one.

Having said that, if no one makes a start, then nothing gets done and I for one would be delighted if we could have 'zero-carbon' houses. However, the idea that every house would have solar panels on the roof and a windmill in the garden seems a little far-fetched and its likely to be the perception of too big a hurdle that stops people making any effort in the first place. Better insulation is the starting point - I've heard it said that many Americans believe that it's their constitutional right to wear shorts and T-shirt at home in the winter and combat trousers and a sweater in the summer if they so wish and Im sure that the same could be said of some Brits - until we get people used to the idea that they need to dress appropriately, we're fighting a losing battle.

Thursday, December 7, 2006 01:30PM Report Comment
 

4. paul said...

Yes, I think this is claptrap, unlikely to be backed up by any real policies.

With this amount of hot air escaping from Westminster, perhaps they should look at limiting their own emissions first!

Thursday, December 7, 2006 01:58PM Report Comment
 

5. monty said...

Cute picture. I just love the "rainwater harvesting system" - used to be called a water butt back in the day and far easier to check for leaks and rats if it's not buried underground (but then that must be a space issue.)

How does burning wood chip or wood make you carbon neutral? Burning anything organic generates CO2. Am I missing a trick here? Not that I have anything against fires, they're nice and toasty when in a fireplace but not carbon freaking neutral.

Until the propeller heads come up with something more efficient those wind turbines on the roof are about as useful as a gnome in the garden.

Thursday, December 7, 2006 02:26PM Report Comment
 

6. monty said...

The picture is from the Times article.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/TGD/picture/0,,372232,00.jpg

Thursday, December 7, 2006 02:29PM Report Comment
 

7. Rickyb said...

The idea of a zero emission house sounds all very good, but it can only be truly zero emission, if, over the lifetime of the building, the entire carbon costs incurred in its construction, and maintenance are recouped. This includes the carbon costs of construction together with the true carbon costs of those energy efficiency measures that have been built into the house. For example some straightforward calculations will show that small domestic wind turbines and PV solar panels will never generate as much energy in their entire lifetimes to offset the energy required in their manufacture.
The vast majority of energy required in most UK households is used to heat up water for washing and central heating. Water can be heated most efficiently using cheap solar thermal collectors, whereas electricity generation requires expensive, inefficient technologies such as PV and small wind turbines.

Thursday, December 7, 2006 02:47PM Report Comment
 

8. Sam said...

Using wood is carbon neutral in theory becuse you have to grow more wood to burn later on (soaking up the stuff you give off). however in practice transporting it etc... means there is a postive carbon effect.

also the cost of building or converting a carbon neutral house is probably more than the average stamp duty. even then the technology and hardware required (e.g solar panels or wind turbines), actually use a large amount of carbon/chemicals to produce.

I think brown is learning from Blair and Cameron, it's not important to do anything about a problem, it's important to be seen to be doing something about it.

Thursday, December 7, 2006 02:50PM Report Comment
 

9. inbreda said...

There are of course plenty of other things the UK SHOULD do, for example

The UK SHOULD stop invading countries to try to steal their oil.

Thursday, December 7, 2006 02:52PM Report Comment
 

10. monty said...

The UK SHOULD have built more nukes but the greenies shot us in the foot on that one. Now we are entirely dependent on fossil fuels from the Middle East AND Russia for gas AND France for electricity because they had the foresight and balls to build nukes AND now we're 30 years behind on nuke research to boot. Even Iran has got more up to date kit. Oh, the shame of it all. Stupid, stupid greenies.

Thursday, December 7, 2006 03:39PM Report Comment
 

11. p. o. o. r said...

Bidin'matime has hit the nail on the head, with better insulation - Loft, Walls, Floors, Windows, Roof. In addition the governtment should scrap VAT on energy efficient light bulbs, and other electrical equipment.

Thursday, December 7, 2006 05:22PM Report Comment
 

12. Dphoskins said...

Monty wonders how burning wood chips is carbon neutral. Isn't the idea that the trees which the wood chips came from spent their lives turning carbon dioxide into oxygen, so as a fuel they've got a few carbon credits in the bank?

Thursday, December 7, 2006 05:31PM Report Comment
 

13. Ticktock said...

monty,

I think that the depletion of our fosil fuels has more to do with the IMF(US) imposed conditions of economic 'bail out' which has absolutely nothing at all to do with the 'geenies'.

So you support the breaching, by Nation States, of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty do you? Doesn't that make a Nation a roague state? Should't the UN impose sanctions upon such a Nation, banning essential 'duel use' medical equipment and the like? will we have our assets frozen and a black propaganda campaign waged against us until there is 'regieme change' in the UK, or 500,000 children have died or something? Or is such a punishment only appropriate for 'brown' people? stupid, stupid, imperialists.

Thursday, December 7, 2006 07:33PM Report Comment
 

14. Enuii said...

More Sound-Bite government I'm afraid here folks, revisit the subject in a couple of years and I'll be very surprised if I can count more 'Zero Carbon' developments than I have fingers. They are a bit like Toyota Prius's whose construction causes more environmental damage than they will ever prevent through energy saving. Issuing everyone with a nice wooly jumper would be more beneficial to the environment than this scheme will ever be.

Thursday, December 7, 2006 10:11PM Report Comment
 

15. monty said...

Sorry TT, I may have confused you by misusing the term nukes for nuclear reactors.

I can now see how the burning of woodchips may be declared carbon neutral but surely we can find better ways of using the woodchips? There are so many more efficient ways of producing heat notwithstanding the energy used to compress the woodchips into those cutsie fake logs. But then again BBQs just wouldn't be the same without them.

Thursday, December 7, 2006 11:00PM Report Comment
 

16. Superruss said...

Seeing as this house price thread has gone a bit awry let me throw some science in to the mix...

I love cycles... they are to within a certain degree predictable and proliferate life itself. And In our infinite policitcal wisdom, we are missing the point with this whole greenhouse thing...

Global volcano eruptions from 29th nov-5th dec: 16

One single volcanic eruption can effect global temperature more than man can ever hope to with our current technology (see link). Almost comically, ice ages and periods of global warming on earth are well documeted and as cyclical as the housing market itself.

http://www.cmar.csiro.au/e-print/open/greenhouse_2000.htm

Just pump some of this wasted "faffing around" money in to developing nuclear FUSION and our problems - energy, ability to effect global temperature change or otherwise - are trivial.

Of COURSE house price levels will subside. Even a successful global dictatorship with one currency and no trade boundaries would only serve to elongate the cycle.

Friday, December 8, 2006 12:20AM Report Comment
 

17. Ticktock said...

monty,

You are right, i miss-read you.

Apologies.

Friday, December 8, 2006 04:56PM Report Comment
 

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