Yvette Cooper has called for radical changes to be considered to ensure that
homes of the future reduce their carbon emissions and help combat climate change.
"Whether it be turf on the roof, wind turbines in the garden, heat pumps
below the basement or micro boilers, the homes of the future will need to be
powered in a completely different way.
"We need to develop the technology to support our Victorian terraces and
sixties tower blocks as well as our new homes."
Later this year, every new home will need to have an energy performance certificate
which will set out its energy efficiency rating and include practical advice
on how to cut carbon emissions.
Yvette Cooper added:
"There is great potential to link energy performance certificates with
green mortgages where home buyers could get top-up loans at preferential rates."
Last month, Secretary of State Ruth Kelly launched a challenging package of
measures which put tackling climate change at the heart of the planning system
and the way we build new homes.
Currently, the energy used to heat, light and run our homes accounts for 27
per cent of all of the UKs carbon emissions - around 40 million tonnes.
To help tackle this, the Government is proposing that all new homes be zero
carbon by 2016. Energy efficient and insulated buildings, which draw their energy
from zero or low carbon technologies and therefore produce no net carbon emissions
from all energy use over the course of a year, will help reduce carbon emissions
as well as lowering fuel bills for households.