Cost of carbon reduction in new buildings

A report for the Centre for Sustainable Energy on the cost of carbon reduction in new buildings.

The UK has a legal commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. This report considers different options for achieving carbon savings in new housing and non-domestic buildings and assesses their costs and other factors relevant to the development of local planning policies. The development of specific policy options will reflect local priorities, viability and other considerations but the information on costs and other relevant policy considerations is intended to help inform these decisions in developing effective policies that deliver carbon savings whilst protecting housing supply and household costs.

A range of dwelling and non-domestic buildings were considered, and detailed energy and cost modelling undertaken for five house types investigating a wide range of energy efficiency, low carbon heating and renewable power generation strategies. The costs of a variety of policy options were considered involving minimum levels of energy efficiency, onsite carbon savings and then the achievement of net zero carbon standards considering regulated energy or both regulated and unregulated energy. Allowable solutions/carbon offset payments could be used at a cost of £95 per tonne to meet the net zero carbon target once onsite carbon reduction targets had been achieved.

Analysis suggests that it is possible to achieve net zero regulated carbon emissions from a combination of energy efficiency on site carbon reductions and allowable solutions for an additional capital cost of between 5-7% for homes and non-domestic buildings. Achieving net zero regulated and unregulated emission is likely to result in a cost impact of 7-11% for homes.

Author: Currie & Brown

Publication date: December 2018