Communities and Local Government Committee: Press Notice

Session 2006-07 26 July 2007


Existing Housing Stock and Climate Change

The UK's domestic building stock is responsible for around a quarter of all carbon emissions in the UK. Current efforts to reduce the contribution made by people's homes to climate change have focused on new-build housing. Even with the increased rates of new build that the Government is seeking, homes built after 2007 are unlikely to account for more than a third of the total housing stock by 2050. Homes built recently tend to have higher standards of energy efficiency but a significant proportion of those houses which will still be homes in 2050 were constructed to lower, sometimes much lower, standards. The existing stock therefore accounts for the great majority of carbon emissions from dwellings both in terms of overall numbers and energy efficiency.

The Committee has resolved to conduct an inquiry to examine the contribution which the existing housing stock makes to UK carbon emissions and the means which might be used to increase the resource efficiency of existing homes. It will be considering the extent to which current measures to adapt existing housing, whether owner occupied, rented privately or social, have been successful and how improvements might be achieved. Particular topics which will be considered within this context include:

₠The significance of existing housing compared to new build and the different levels of performance each display

₠The respective roles of residents, homeowners, landlords, local government, central government and the energy industry in promoting and delivering greater energy efficiency

₠Energy performance certificates

₠The provision of information for households and prospective house buyers, including energy performance certificates

₠Government efforts to reduce carbon emissions from existing housing stock whether in private or public ownership and other related programmes including Decent Homes

₠The technologies available to reduce emissions and the Government's role in facilitating relevant further technological development

₠The costs associated with reducing carbon emissions from existing housing, who should meet those costs and particularly, in respect of low-income households, interaction between carbon emission reductions and the Government's ambitions to reduce poverty

₠The specific challenges which may arise in relation to housing of special architectural or historical interest

This inquiry will focus on functions which are integral or semi-integral to housing fabric such as heating and lighting. The Committee will not examine the environmental performance of individual household appliances.

The Committee invites interested individuals and organisations to submit written memoranda addressing these topics by Wednesday 26th September 2007. Those doing so should feel free to include any relevant information which they would like to draw to the Committee's attention as part of this inquiry.

Further information on this inquiry can be found at:

Contact: David Weir, Second Clerk of the Committee, tel: 020 7219 3290, email:

Further Information:

Written evidence must if possible be submitted in an electronic format, preferably by e-mail to The e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. If sent by post it should be sent to David Weir, Second Committee Clerk, CLG Committee, 7 Millbank, House of Commons, London SW1P 3JA. Witnesses submitting written evidence in manuscript are respectfully requested to take particular care that it is legible.

Submissions should be as brief as possible. It is helpful to include a summary with longer submissions. Those submitting evidence are reminded that evidence should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted no public use should be made of it. Detailed guidance on the submission of written evidence can be found at

If you have any queries regarding the submission of evidence or would like to discuss your memorandum, please contact David Weir (020 7219 3290,

Notes for editors

1. The Communities and Local Government Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the administration, policy and expenditure of the Department for Communities and Local Government. Its membership comprises eleven Members of Parliament.

2. The membership of the Communities and Local Government Committee is as follows: Dr Phyllis Starkey MP (Chair, Lab), Sir Paul Beresford MP (Con), Mr Clive Betts MP (Lab), John Cummings MP (Lab), Martin Horwood MP (Lib Dem), Mr Greg Hands MP (Con), Anne Main MP (Con), Mr Bill Olner MP (Lab), Dr John Pugh MP (Lib Dem), Emily Thornberry MP (Lab), David Wright (Lab).

Media inquiries should be directed to:

Laura Kibby, Select Committee Media Officer Tel: 0207 219 0718 Mobile: 07917488557 / e-mail: