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Domestic housing in the United Kingdom presents one of the major opportunities for achieving the 20% overall cut in UK carbon dioxide emissions targeted by the Government for 2010. For energy use in practice see Energy use and conservation in the United Kingdom The current Energy Policy of the United Kingdom is set For Government policy see Energy policy of the United Kingdom Energy use and conservation in the United Kingdom has been receiving increased As of 2006 the United Kingdom operates 24 Nuclear reactors generating one-fifth of its electricity (19 Until July 2008 solar power in the United Kingdom ( photovoltaic Electricity generation) was relatively commercially unattractive due to the moderate level of Wind power in the United Kingdom passed the milestone of 2 GW installed capacity on 9 February 2007 with the opening of the Braes O'Doune wind farm near Stirling The United Kingdom's Climate Change Programme was launched in November 2000 by the British government in response to its commitment agreed at the 1992 United The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located Carbon dioxide ( Chemical formula:) is a Chemical compound composed of two Oxygen Atoms covalently bonded to a single
Although carbon emissions from housing have remained fairly stable since 1990 (due to the increase in household energy use having been compensated for by the 'dash for gas'), housing accounted for around 30% of all the UK's carbon dioxide emissions in 2004 - 40 million tonnes of carbon - up from 26. Carbon dioxide ( Chemical formula:) is a Chemical compound composed of two Oxygen Atoms covalently bonded to a single 42% in 1990 as a proportion of the UK's total emissions.  The Select Committee on Environmental Audit noted that emissions from housing could constitute over 55% of the UK's target for carbon emissions in 2050. 
A 2006 report commissioned by British Gas estimated the average carbon emissions for housing in each of the local authorities in Great Britain, the first time that this had been done. Centrica plc ( is a large multinational utility company based in the United Kingdom but also with interests in North America and Europe. See also Kingdom of Great Britain Great Britain (Breatainn Mhòr Prydain Fawr Breten Veur Graet Breetain is the larger of the two main islands This indicated that housing in Uttlesford (Essex) produced the highest emissions (8,092 kg of carbon dioxide per dwelling). Energy policy In May 2006, a report commissioned by British Gas showed that housing in Uttlesford produced the highest average carbon emissions in the country Essex is a county in the East of England. The County town is Chelmsford, and the highest point of the county is Chrishall Common This was 250% higher than than housing in Camden (London) which produced the least (averaging 3,255 kg). The London Borough of Camden ( is a borough of London, England, which forms part of Inner London. London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom. Among the 23 towns included, Reading had the highest emissions (6,189 kg), with Hull the lowest (4,395 kg). Reading (ˈrɛdɪŋ as Redding) is a town in England, located at the confluence of the River Thames and River Kennet, midway between Kingston upon Hull ( almost invariably referred The variations are due to a number of factors, including the age, size and type of the housing stock, together with the efficiency of heating systems, the mix of fuels used, the ownership of appliances, occupancy levels and the habits of the occupants.
In the December 2006 Pre-Budget Report the Government announced their 'ambition' that all new homes will be 'zero-carbon' by 2016 (i. In the United Kingdom, the Pre-Budget Report ( PBR) is one of the two economic forecasts that HM Treasury is required to deliver to Parliament e. built to zero-carbon building standards). A zero energy building ( ZEB) or net zero energy building is a general term applied to a Building with a net energy consumption of zero over a typical year To encourage this, an exemption from Stamp duty land tax is to be granted, lasting until 2012, for all new zero-carbon homes up to £500,000 in value. In the United Kingdom, Stamp duty is a form of tax charged on instruments (that is written documents and requires a physical stamp to be attached to or impressed upon the 
Whilst some organisations applauded the initial announcement of the scheme, in the pre-budget statement from the then UK Chancellor, Gordon Brown, others are concerned about the government's ability to deliver on the promise. 
The housing stock in the United Kingdom is amongst the least energy efficient in Europe. Cwmbran (Cwmbrân is a New town in Wales within the historic boundaries of Monmouthshire, and within the modern County borough of  In 2004 housing (including space heating, hot water, lighting, cooking, and appliances) accounted for 30. 23% of all energy use in the UK (up from 27. 70% in 1990). The figure for London is higher at approximately 37%. London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom. 
In view of the progressive tightening of the Building Regulations' requirements for energy efficiency since the 1970s (see the history section below), it might be expected that a significant cut in domestic energy use would have occurred, however this has not yet been the case. Different legislation applies to the different countries of the United Kingdom
Although insulation standards have been increasing, so has the standard of home heating. Building insulation refers broadly to any object in a building used as Insulation for any purpose In 1970, only 31% of homes had central heating. For the Grand Central Records albums see Central Heating (Grand Central album and Central Heating 2. By 2003 it had been installed in 92% of British homes, leading in turn to a rise in the average temperature within them (from 12. 1°C to 18. 20°C).  Even in homes with central heating, average temperatures rose 4. 55°C during this period.
At the same time, the increase in the number of households, increasing numbers of domestic electrical appliances, an increase in the number of light fittings, reduction in the average number of occupants per household, plus other factors, had led to an increase in total national domestic energy consumption from around 25% in 1970 to about 30% in 2001, and remained on an upward trend (BRE figures). The Building Research Establishment (BRE is a former UK government establishment (but now a private organisation funded by the building industry that carries out research consultancy
The figures for energy consumed by end use for 2003. 
The 1965 Building Regulations introduced the first limits on the amount of energy that could be lost through certain elements of the fabric of new houses. This was expressed as a u-value - the amount of heat lost per square metre, for each degree Celsius of temperature difference between inside and outside. In Physics, thermal conductivity, k is the property of a material that indicates its ability to conduct Heat. The Celsius Temperature scale was previously known as the centigrade scale.
In effect the Target Insulation is a ration of 1. 33 W/m^2/K of floor area (Document L 2006). So to keep your square metre warm you are limited as to how much energy you can use. This is slightly regressive in that richer people live in bigger houses which tend to have a lower surface area /floor area, although this is partially offset by them being detached.
These limits were tightened following the 1973 oil crisis, and on several subsequent occasions (see below. The 1973 oil crisis began on October 17 1973 when the members of Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC consisting of the Arab members of Domestic Housing in the United Kingdom presents one of the major opportunities for achieving the 20% overall cut in UK Carbon dioxide emissions targeted by the Government Despite this, UK insulation levels have remained low compared to the EU average. The European Union ( EU) is a political and economic union of twenty-seven member states, located primarily in 
The energy policy of the United Kingdom through the 2003 Energy White Paper articulated directions for more energy efficient building construction. For energy use in practice see Energy use and conservation in the United Kingdom The current Energy Policy of the United Kingdom is set Hence, the year 2006 saw a significant tightening of energy efficiency requirements within the Building Regulations (for earlier regulations, see separate section below). Domestic Housing in the United Kingdom presents one of the major opportunities for achieving the 20% overall cut in UK Carbon dioxide emissions targeted by the Government
With the long term aim of cutting overall emissions by 60% by 2050, and by 80% by 2100, the intention of the 2006 changes was to cut energy use in new housing by 20% compared to a similar building constructed to the 2002 standards. The changes were the first to the regulations brought about by the desire to reduce emissions, though some have raised doubts about whether they will actually achieve the 20% cut (see criticisms section).
In the 2006 regulations, the u-value was replaced as the primary measure of energy efficiency by the Dwelling Carbon Dioxide Emission Rate (DER), an estimate of carbon dioxide emissions per m² of floor area. M^2 redirects here For other uses see M². CM2 redirects here This is calculated using the Government's Standard Assessment Procedure for Energy Rating of Dwellings (SAP 2005). 
In addition to the levels of insulation provide by the structure of the building, the DER also takes into account the airtightness of the building, the efficiency of space and water heating, the efficiency of lighting, and any savings from solar power or other energy generation technologies employed, and other factors. Solar energy is the Light and radiant heat from the Sun that powers Earth 's Climate and Weather and sustains Life For the first time, it also became compulsory to upgrade the energy efficiency in existing houses when extensions or certain other works are carried out.
Some organisations have raised doubts over the claim that the changes will result in a 20% saving. Issues cited have included alleged problems with the calculation methods, the limitations of the modelling software, and the specification of the reference building used in the model.  For example, a 2005 study sponsored by the Pilkington Energy Efficiency Trust indicated that the savings would only be in the region of 9%. 
There are also concerns about enforcement, with a Building Research Establishment study in 2004 indicating that 60% of new homes do not conform to existing regulations. The Building Research Establishment (BRE is a former UK government establishment (but now a private organisation funded by the building industry that carries out research consultancy  A 2006 survey for the Energy Saving Trust revealed that Building Control Officers considered energy efficiency 'a low priority' and that few would take any action over failure to comply with the Building Regulations because the matter 'seemed trivial'. Energy Saving Trust is a non-profit organisation jointly funded by the British Government and the private sector in order to help fight Climate change by promoting A Building Control Officer (also known as a Building Inspector, BCO) is now generally known as a Building Control Surveyor in the United Kingdom 
Despite the tightening of the requirements and previous loopholes, the regulations have been criticised by some for not going further. Criticisms include the exclusion of domestic appliances from the calculations, not requiring provision to be made for retrofitting of solar or other technologies, lack of remedial requirements if airtightness tests are failed, and for not requiring greater insulation standards.
A more fundamental criticism by some is that even if the expected 20% cut is achieved, this falls far short of achieving the long term goal of a 60% cut in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. The London Sustainable Development Commission, for example, has calculated that to meet the 60% target, all new developments would have to be constructed to be carbon-neutral with immediate effect (using zero energy building techniques), in addition to cutting energy used in existing housing by 40%. A zero energy building ( ZEB) or net zero energy building is a general term applied to a Building with a net energy consumption of zero over a typical year
A further issue is the omission of the impact of domestic sector air conditioning in the projections. The term air conditioning refers to the cooling and dehumidification of indoor air for Thermal comfort. Air conditioning is beginning to gain acceptance in the domestic sector, driven in part by cheap self-install systems from the Pacific Rim, but with the established brands now also offering specifically targeted professionally installed ranges. Demand for cooling systems is rising mainly due to increased awareness, since air conditioning is standard on almost all new cars sold in the UK and also in the commercial sector, but also because of tight housing densities and long working hours, leading to problems with noise at night. The latter problem is compounded by the 'energy efficient' new build features such as tight insulation and small windows.
In December 2006 the government announced their 'ambition' that all new housing should be build to zero-carbon standards from 2016, i. A zero energy building ( ZEB) or net zero energy building is a general term applied to a Building with a net energy consumption of zero over a typical year e. that the carbon emitted during a typical year should be balanced by renewable energy generation. Renewable energy is Energy generated from Natural resources mdashsuch as Sunlight, Wind, Rain, tides and geothermal Despite being the first country in the world to adopt such a policy the initiative was generally welcomed by the industry in principle, despite some subsequent concern over the practicalities. 
In 2004 the Government indicated that the next revision to the energy performance standards of the Building Regulations would be in 2010.  In the consultation document Building a Greener Future: Towards Zero Carbon Development it is proposed that the 2010 revision should require a further 25% improvement in the energy/carbon performance, in line with the 2004 proposals.  It is further envisaged that there would be a 44% improvement in 2013, compared to 2006 levels. This would then be followed by the adoption of a zero carbon requirement in 2016, applied to all home energy use including appliances.  These steps in performance would align the energy efficiency requirement of the Building Regulations with those of Levels 3, 4 and 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes in 2010, 2013 and 2016 respectively 
Originally, from June 2007, all homes (and other buildings) in the UK would have to undergo Energy Performance Certification before they are sold or let, in order to meet the requirements of the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (Directive 2002/91/EC). The Code for Sustainable Homes is an environmental impact rating system for housing in England setting new standards for Energy efficiency (above those in current building regulations Energy Performance Certificates or EPCs are due to be part of Home Information Packs which have been in effect since the 1st August 2007 in England and Wales for domestic  (This has now been put back to August 2007, and will operate on a phased introduction basis, starting with large 4 bedroom homes). This will provide the owner or landlord with an 'energy label' so that they can demonstrate the energy efficiency of the property, and is also to be included in the new Home Information Packs. According to several different EU Directives (92/75/CEE 94/2/CE 95/12/CE 96/89/CE 2003/66/CE et alia most White goods, light bulb packaging and cars must have an EU Under the provisions of the Housing Act 2004 a Home Information Pack (HIP sometimes called a Seller's Pack, will have to be provided before a property in
It is hoped that energy labelling will raise awareness of energy efficiency, and encourage upgrading to make properties more marketable. Incentives may be available for carrying out energy conservation measures. 
For new building, SAP 2005 calculations are to form the basis for the certification, while the National Home Energy Rating scheme (NHER) will be used to assess existing properties. The National Home Energy Rating Scheme (NHER is both a UK organisation and a rating scale for the energy efficiency of housing It is estimated that only 10% of the nation's housing will score above 60 on the scale, although most will score above 40. 
Another rating scheme of note is the Government sponsored EcoHomes rating, mostly used in public sector housing, and only applicable to new properties or major refurbishments. EcoHomes is an environmental rating scheme for homes in the United Kingdom. This actually measures a range of sustainability issues, of which energy efficiency is only one. EcoHomes is to be replaced by the Government's Code for Sustainable Homes in 2007. The Code for Sustainable Homes is an environmental impact rating system for housing in England setting new standards for Energy efficiency (above those in current building regulations
The Energy Saving Trust set requirements for 'good practice' and 'advanced practice' for achieving lower energy buildings, while the Association for Environment Conscious Building's CarbonLite programme specifies Silver and Gold standards, the latter approaching a zero energy building. Energy Saving Trust is a non-profit organisation jointly funded by the British Government and the private sector in order to help fight Climate change by promoting The Association for Environment Conscious Building (AECB is the leading network for Sustainable building professionals in the United Kingdom. A zero energy building ( ZEB) or net zero energy building is a general term applied to a Building with a net energy consumption of zero over a typical year
The Government's low carbon buildings programme was launched in 2006 to replace the earlier Clear Skies and Solar PV programmes. The Low Carbon Building Programme (LCBP is a Government programme in the United Kingdom administered by BERR (formerly the DTI) It offers grants towards the costs of solar thermal heating, small wind turbine, micro hydro, ground source heat pump, and biomass installations. Active solar technologies are employed to convert Solar energy into usable heat cause air-movement for ventilation or cooling or store heat for future use Wind Power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form such as electricity using Wind turbines At the end of 2007 worldwide capacity of wind-powered generators was Micro Hydro is a term used for Hydroelectric power installations that typically produce up to 100 kW of power A geothermal heat pump system is a heating and/or an Air conditioning system that uses the Earth's ability to store heat in the ground and water Thermal As of January 2007 funding for grants is proving insufficient to meet demand. 
A similar scheme, the Scottish Community and Household Renewables Initiative operates in Scotland, which also offers grants towards the cost of air source heat pumps. Scotland ( Gaelic: Alba) is a Country in northwest Europethat occupies the northern third of the island of Great Britain. An air source heat pump is a type of Heat pump which use the outside air as a heat source or heat sink to heat or cool
Under the Home Energy Conservation Act 1995, local authorities are required to consider measures to improve the energy efficiency of all residential accommodation in their areas. Local government in the United Kingdom is arranged into four different systems with one each for England Northern Ireland Scotland and Wales However they are not required to implement any measures, and only a minority of local authorities have done anything to inform or help households other than those in social housing and the fuel poor. A fuel poor household is one which cannot afford to keep adequately warm at reasonable cost It was expected that the Act would result in a 30% cut in energy usage between 1996 and 2010. An overall cumulative improvement of 14. 7% was reported to DEFRA for the year ending March 2004, but a large part of this would have happened without HECA. 
In the South most local authority housing was sold off in the 1980s-90s under RTB (Right to buy scheme), so the remaining stock is small. The Right to buy scheme is a policy in the United Kingdom which gives tenants of Council housing the right to buy the home they are living in Much social housing has also been transferred to housing associations. Housing associations in the United Kingdom are independent not-for-profit bodies that provide low-cost "social housing" for people in housing
One of the most important energy efficiency demonstration projects was the 1986 Energy World exhibition in Milton Keynes, which attracted international interest. A zero energy building ( ZEB) or net zero energy building is a general term applied to a Building with a net energy consumption of zero over a typical year Energy World was a demonstration project of 51 Low-energy houses constructed in the Shenley Lodge area of Milton Keynes, United Kingdom. Milton Keynes ( ˌmɪltənˈkiːnz often abbreviated to MK, is a large town Fifty-one houses were built, designed to be at least 30% more efficient than the Building Regulations then in force. This was calculated using the Milton Keynes Energy Cost Index (MKECI), a test-bed for the subsequent SAP rating system and the National Home Energy Rating scheme.
The Beddington Zero Energy Development (BedZED), a non-traditional housing scheme of 82 dwellings near Beddington, London included zero energy usage as one of its key features. Beddington Zero Energy Development ( BedZED) is an environmentally-friendly-housing development near Wallington, England, in the London Beddington is a settlement between the London Boroughs of Sutton and Croydon. A zero energy building ( ZEB) or net zero energy building is a general term applied to a Building with a net energy consumption of zero over a typical year The project was completed in 2002 and is the UK's largest eco-development. The only energy used is generated from renewables on site. Renewable energy is Energy generated from Natural resources mdashsuch as Sunlight, Wind, Rain, tides and geothermal Due to their superinsulation, the properties use 73% less energy for space heating compared to those built to the 2002 Building Regulations, while the reduction for water heating is 44%. Superinsulation is an approach to building design construction and retrofitting
The Green Building in Manchester City Centre and has been built to high energy efficiency standards and won a 2006 Civic Trust Award for its sustainable design. The Green Building is an environmentally conscious mixed use development situated in the Southern Gateway area of Manchester City Centre, England.  The cylindrical shape of the ten storey tower provides the smallest surface area related to the volume, ensuring less energy is lost through thermal dissipation. A cylinder is one of the most basic curvilinear geometric shapes the Surface formed by the points at a fixed distance from a given Straight line, the axis In Physics, dissipation embodies the concept of a Dynamical system where important mechanical modes such as Waves or Oscillations lose Energy Other technologies including solar water heating, a wind turbine and triple glazing. Solar hot water is water heated by the use of Solar energy. Solar heating systems are generally composed of solar Thermal collectors a Fluid A wind turbine is a rotating machine which converts the Kinetic energy in Wind into Mechanical energy.
The South Yorkshire Energy Centre at Heeley City Farm in Sheffield is an example of refurbishing an existing property to show the options available. Heeley City Farm is a City farm, one of many in the UK It is a community-based and led training employment and youth enterprise located in Heeley, Sheffield Sheffield ( is a city and Metropolitan borough in South Yorkshire, England 
The EcoHouse in Leicester incorporates products and materials selected for their green credentials, and operates as an advice centre with videos on products and suppliers, and refurbished computers for sale.
International comparisons of particular note include:
Since then many more have been built in Canada, in Japan, and in various other countries including a number in the UK. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Japan topics. Currently energy savings of 30% to 40% are typically achieved in Canada. 
In 2005 the Select Committee on Environmental Audit expressed their concern that there was a lack of significant funding for research and development of sustainable construction methods, with funding for the Building Research Establishment having been 'drastically' cut in the previous 4 years. The Building Research Establishment (BRE is a former UK government establishment (but now a private organisation funded by the building industry that carries out research consultancy As a result, many of the sustainable building materials used in the UK are imported from Germany, Switzerland and Austria - some of the countries that have been prominent in research. Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. Switzerland (English pronunciation; Schweiz Swiss German: Schwyz or Schwiiz Suisse Svizzera Svizra officially the Swiss Confederation Austria (Österreich ( officially the Republic of Austria (Republik Österreich
Even if all new housing does become 'zero carbon' by 2016, the energy efficiency of the remainder of the housing stock would need to be addressed.
The 2006 Review of the Sustainability of Existing Buildings revealed that 6. 1 million homes lacked an adequate thickness of loft insulation, 8. 5 million homes had uninsulated cavity walls, and that there is a potential to insulate 7. 5 million homes that have solid external walls. These three measures alone have the potential to save 8. 5 million tonnes of carbon emissions each year. Despite this, 95% of home owners think that that the heating of their own home is currently effective. 
The u-value limits introduced in 1965 were:
1985 saw the second tightening of these limits, to:
These limits were reduced again in 1990:
Like the 2006 changes, it was predicted that the introduction of these limits would result in a 20% reduction in energy use for heating. A survey by Liverpool John Moores University predicted that the actual figure would be 6% (Johnson, JA “Building Regulations Research Project”). Liverpool John Moores University is a modern university in Liverpool, England.
In the 1995 Building Regulations, insulation standards were cut to the following U-values:
The 2002 regulations reduced the U-values, and made additional elements of the building fabric subject to control. Although there was in practice considerable flexibility and the ability to 'trade off' reductions in one are for increases in another, the 'target' limits became:
Similar limits were introduced into Scotland in 2002 & 2006, though with a lower limit of 0. Scotland ( Gaelic: Alba) is a Country in northwest Europethat occupies the northern third of the island of Great Britain. 3 or 0. 27 for walls, and some other variations.
It was claimed by Government that these measures should cut the heating requirement by 25% compared to the 1995 Regulations. It was subsequently also claimed that they had achieved a 50% cut compared to the 1990 Regulations. 
While the u-value ceased being the sole consideration in 2006, u-value limits similar to those in the 2002 regulations still apply, but are no longer sufficient by themselves. The DER, and TER (Target Emission rate) calculated through either the Uk Government's Standard Assessment Procedure for Energy Rating of Dwellings (SAP rating), 2005 edition, or the newer SEBM* (*Small Energy Building Model)which is aimed at non-dwellings, became the only acceptable calculation methods. Several commercial energy modeling software packages have now also been verified as producing acceptable evidence by the BRE Global & UK Government. Calculations using previous versions of SAP had been an optional way of demonstrating compliance since 1991(?). They are now a statutory requirement (B. Reg. 17C et al) for all building regultions applications, involving new dwelling/buildings and large extensions to existing non-domestic buildings.