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Monday, January 29, 2007
Zero-carbon and the end of freehold?
This is an interesting one: it is suggested that the need to develop local renewable energy networks and to ensure that householders use them may spell the end of freeholds, as only a clause in a lease may be enough to prevent owners from switching to non-renewable energy. Brian Mark, director of Fulcrum Consulting, said the onus on housebuilders was to ensure that electricity came from renewable sources to meet the zero carbon homes target by 2016. “Developers will have to set up their own distribution networks to bring electricity from renewable sources into the project, but EU energy rules dictate that once a system is set up, the owner is obliged to offer its use to other suppliers. This means that any electricity supplier could use the network to supply residents on the zero carbon development with non-renewable electricity.”

However, this would only apply to electric energy, not heat if that was supplied via district heating which is a closed-loop system. I think there may be other ways round this but it will be interesting to see how this works at, for instance, Elephant and Castle where they are setting up a local utilities company.

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