We warmly welcome the Chancellor's commitment to introduce a Future Homes Standard by 2025, future-proofing new build homes with low-carbon heating and world-leading levels of energy efficiency. But we need to know what the Government has in mind as soon as possible - how close to zero carbon is low carbon?

At the same time, the Government needs to do more to ensure that energy-saving standards are actually delivered when new homes are built. There is currently a wide performance gap between what is mandated by building regulations and what is actually achieved, so homeowners end up with energy bills much higher than they ought to be.

As part of this future homes standard, there needs to be an effective strategy for supporting microrenewables, smart grid and energy storage solutions for new homes. They need to be able to generate more of their own power, store it and be made compatible with their local electricity networks.

Presumably the new standard isn't coming in until 2025 in order to give housebuilders time to prepare. But we hope the next six years will not see the standard being watered down.We really need to be delivering on zero carbon right now, and that's exactly what we will continue to do with our partners at Bioregional.

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