Future Homes Standard proposals - A letter from Cllr Kirsten Hearn
Dear Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP,
In March 2019, Haringey Council declared a Climate Emergency and have just produced a draft action plan, shortly to be brought before Cabinet next month.
As Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Sustainability, I lead the work on ensuring the council’s policies and practices reduce our impact on the environment and that we become a zero carbon council and borough by 2041. Being zero carbon by 2050 is not soon enough. There is no time to delay. This is a climate emergency.
The Future Homes Standard proposals fails to support even the Government ambition of zero carbon by 2050. We strongly believe that the proposals do not go far enough, given the emergency we are in.
The minimum energy efficiency standards proposed are lower than those that are being secured through planning in Haringey today.
The proposed Future Homes Standard will not create the step change to improve our homes and deliver meaningful carbon reduction.
The Prime Minister wants us to be world leaders in carbon reduction. We cannot wait four years for the details of the Future Homes Standard to be consulted on! We need to take action now. We are already achieving beyond the standards set out in new homes in Haringey and other towns and cities across the UK. These proposals will roll back the standard.
Fabric Improvements reduces Fuel Poverty. A ‘fabric-first’ energy efficiency approach is vital to reduce people’s energy bills. It does not rely on grid decarbonisation and more electricity, and longer term will reduce the risk of fuel poverty.
We need understandable standards. We need to support people in becoming more energy aware by moving away from % carbon reduction and introducing real energy use targets (kW/hour). These targets will relate directly to people’s bills so they know where and how they can make energy savings.
Communities and future homeowners are demanding higher standards. Haringey’s Local Plan sets our local ambition. Under the localism ideals we should not remove local powers to set energy efficiency or generation standards. It is undemocratic, and our communities are demanding high standards. We see this in the number of councils agreeing to a Climate Emergency. As a local authority, we should have the necessary powers to achieve these.
We demand a more ambitious plan that goes far beyond these easily achievable targets. We have a responsibility to tackle the Climate Emergency. We need a Future Homes Standard that works to achieve this.
Cllr Kirsten Hearn,
Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Sustainability.