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Low energy building standards in local hands
19 March, 2021

Low energy building standards will continue to be set by local authorities, the Government has confirmed.

Councillor Emily Smith, Chair of the Oxfordshire Growth Board, and Councillor Susan Brown, Chair of the Housing Advisory Sub-Group, wrote to Housing Minister Robert Jenrick setting out the Board’s zero-carbon ambitions.

The letter set out the Board’s belief that the Government can play a strong role in bold improvements in building standards to help meet the aim of net-zero carbon by 2050.

It also highlighted how the Oxfordshire Energy Strategy and the Oxfordshire Industrial Strategy are working in partnership to harness, leverage and scale-up low carbon initiatives to grow our low carbon economy – not just locally – but nationally and internationally too.

The Board outlined some of the challenges in working towards decarbonisation including a skills gap and labour shortage for improving domestic energy efficiency, a lack of incentives for developers and buyers to switch to low carbon homes, and improving building standards being a challenge to affordability and viability

In response, Megan Griffiths from the Energy Performance of Buildings Division in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government re-affirmed the Government’s commitment to net zero.

It also confirmed the Government will continue to allow local authorities to set local energy efficiency standards for buildings.

This will allow local councils to go beyond the minimum standards that are set through national building regulations.

You can read the full reply here.

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