Monday, 22 July 2013


House building (PA)
History apparently does not repeat itself, but, very occasionally simular events and simular circumstances can arise. Back in 1997, early the first term of the then pre Iraq Blair government, there was extensive lobbying form the building trade to weaken the pre-election pledge to make homes more energy and more thermally efficient. 

Ironically this is something that would have over the longer term have saved all of us money and potentially reduced our energy bills. This decision it is worth noting was taken during a period of relatively cheap energy. Following the successful lobby from the building trade the energy efficiency measures were quietly watered down to the point of ineffectiveness.

Now some 15 years later, by way of coincidence, the Labour in Wales Government (in Cardiff Bay) following another successful lobby campaign from the building industry has followed in Blair government’s footsteps. They have managed to achieve some drasticreductions in proposed new home energy efficiency targets - something that may marginally benefit the house builders but won’t benefit the rest of us. Basically the Labour in Wales government, planned to introduce building regulations which would have required 40% carbon emissions savings, this target has been reduced to 8%.

Housing Minister Carl Sargeant, under severe pressure from housing developers, who had warned the tougher regulations were making it uneconomic to build homes in much of Wales, has thrown in the towel. His decision benefits the House builders in the short term, but, future house owners will lose out as result of having less energy efficient houses in a time of ever expensive energy bills. This decision at the end of the day is about ring fencing in the short term the profits of the house builders at the longer term expense of the house buyers. 

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