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Ed Davey: Zero Carbon Homes axe ‘the worst thing the Tories have done’

Ed Davey: Zero Carbon Homes axe ‘the worst thing the Tories have done’

Former energy secretary Ed Davey has claimed that the decision to axe the Zero Carbon Homes initiative before it had started is “the worst thing the Tories have done”.

Speaking at an event hosted by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) yesterday morning, Davey labelled the decision a “scandal” and “inexcusable”, before urging the government to revisit the decision.

The move, which was revealed in July, has been resoundingly criticised and more than 200 businesses called on the government to reverse the decision in an open letter addressed to chancellor George Osborne. Committee on Climate Change chairman Lord Deben also criticised the decision last month, stating that a replacement policy must be a priority for the government.

While little reasoning was forthcoming at the time, energy minister Andrea Leadsom discussed the matter before the energy and climate change select committee earlier this week, claiming the initiative to be an “obstacle” to the UK’s housing crisis.

Davey also warned that the government must “get real” on energy efficiency after progress had flat-lined in the wake of a number of policy cuts without adequate replacements, most notably with the Green Deal.

DECC has continually noted that there are a number of policies in the pipeline to address energy efficiency technologies and their deployment, however there has yet to be any published and the UK is falling behind on certain targets. Just 1.3 million smart meters have been installed to date with the country targeting one in every home and business by 2020.

But Davey said that the energy efficiency drive made under his leadership at DECC had been “incredibly successful” and a “huge success story”. He added that EU regulation had been a “key driver”, stating the UK’s need to comply with such measures to be a “market-friendly approach” to stimulating its adoption.

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