The remainder but significant emission reductions can be achieved via Allowable Solutions. Exactly what these might be and how they might work is the subject of debate.
The concept of Allowable Solutions was first aired by Government in 2008 as a mechanism for ensuring that zero carbon homes could be delivered in practice for most development scenarios, without excessive cost. Over the last three years the Zero Carbon Hub and its partners have taken a lead in exploring how Allowable Solutions might work and presenting proposals to Government, specifically on framework and operational considerations. This work is summarised in the following documents:
Allowable Solutions for Tomorrow's New Homes - Towards a workable Framework (July 2011)
- Considers the principles that should underpin a successful framework.
Allowable Solutions - Evaluating Opportunities and Priorities (September 2012)
- Reviews the workability of a sample of potential Allowable Solutions options.
Zero Carbon Strategies for Tomorrow's New Homes (February 2013)
- Shows how Allowable Solutions might be used in practice/reviews some Local Authority activity in this area.
Allowable Solutions for Tomorrow's New Homes - An Introduction (September 2012)
- A summary brochure of the Allowable Solutions concept.
It is therefore very reassuring that in the Housing and Planning section 1.109 of the 2013 Budget, Government confirmed that it was 'committed to implementing zero carbon homes from 2016'. Government stated that it will respond on building regulations energy efficiency requirements by May, and 'consult on next steps, including on the means of delivering Allowable Solutions, by Summer Recess'.
Following the Budget announcement, the Zero Carbon Hub has been in discussion with Government officials over how the Allowable Solutions consultation might be structured and delivered. Once the consultation proposals have been firmed up and announced, more news on the consultation process will be posted on this website.
Independently, a number of Local Planning Authorities and house builders have been in touch with the Zero Carbon Hub wanting to take part in activities related to Allowable Solutions, including trials that might be set up. If you would like to be involved please contact the Zero Carbon Hub on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add you to the list of interested parties.
Finally we are currently developing a website Q and A section on Allowable Solutions so if you have a burning question we will do our best to answer it, with the hope that you will allow us to include it (anonymously) on the website.