Monday, 20 August 2007

Renewables requirement dropped

Bad news for firms selling energy-saving tech to the construction sector - the Guardian reports that the government is dropping plans to require all new buildings to include some renewable energy capacity.

The so-called Merton rule requires any new building to reduce its carbon emissions by 10%. Introduced by the eponymous London borough in 2003, it's since been taken up by around 150 other local authorities. Whitehall has previously encouraged LAs to adopt the rule but, under pressure from housebuilders, is now understood to be abolishing the rule in the upcoming draft planning policy statement.

The Merton rule has been hailed by solar installers and other players as one of the few effective drivers of renewables take-up in the UK - certainly well ahead of the government's confusing and under-resourced low carbon buildings programme, intended to subsidise installation on existing buildings.

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