The Low Carbon Existing Homes report was published on the 12 October by the UK Green Building Council, the Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes, the Sustainable Development Commission and the Technology Strategy Board at the request of Government in order to assist them with their Low Carbon Homes strategy.

The Low Carbon Homes strategy due in Spring 2009, was announced in the draft Renewable Energy Strategy, and is a key element of Government's response to the setting of the carbon budgets. It will be informed by a public consultation on energy efficiency (and heat), to be launched in November 2008, which is being prepared by the Office of Climate Change (OCC).

The intention of the report was to present a range of proposals to Government, which would identify the challenges and the need for further work. The challenges and the solutions identified are listed in the table (please see original document).

The report concluded that there is a significant market failure when it comes to delivering low carbon existing homes, and that addressing this will require a suite of regulatory and fiscal measures from Government, together with measures designed to address consumer behaviour and support industry, as part of a comprehensive policy package. Whether the Government's forthcoming consultation on energy efficiency will address these issues in order to inform its Low Carbon Homes Strategy remains to be seen.

Paul King, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council commented:

"For too long we've been throwing our money out of the window, either indifferent about our energy bills, or completely turned off by the hassle and upfront cost of energy efficiency improvements.

"Spiralling fuel costs and concern about climate change now call for a revolution in attitude and approach - we can and must make it easy and affordable for everyone to slash their household bills and carbon emissions.

"The great strength of this report is in the sheer breadth and depth of those that contributed to it, and it should prove a line in the sand on this hugely important issue."