Every new home in Britain could be fitted with solar panels as the Government strives to make us all ‘carbon neutral’.
Wind turbines could also be fitted to our roofs, to ensure homes generate energy even when the sun is in hiding.
And hi-tech boilers – which use the water steaming though our radiators to drive small electricity generators – could also become commonplace. But the biggest change developers could make is simply to ensure every home is well insulated, according to experts.
Plans for "zero carbon" homes were outlined in Gordon Brown's statement yesterday.
These are properties which use as little electricity as possible, and generate their own power through environmentally-friendly means which can then be sold back to the National Grid. The aim is to reduce the level of power generated from power stations which cause pollution leading to global warming.
Mr Brown said: "To accelerate the building of zero carbon homes, for a time limited period the vast majority of new zero carbon homes will be exempted from stamp duty."
Only new properties will be eligible for the exemption – so there is less incentive for those who already own homes to get a solar panel fitted.
But they will be able to apply for low-interest loans to help pay for the work, and then keep the proceeds of lower fuel bills, Mr Brown said. There is also a limit, yet to be defined, on how expensive a property can be and still qualify for the exemption. The House Builders Association attacked the plan as "another example of gesture politics".
But Mark Evans, partner at Birmingham offices of estate agents Knight Frank, said the property industry must accept that carbon neutral homes would become standard. "It would do well to take a leaf out of the auto sector where emissions has become a key selling point and potential buyers have a clear guide as to how environmentally friendly or not their new car is going to be."
Gurdip Chamba, chair of the Royal Institute Chartered Surveyors West Midlands, slammed Mr Brown's policy as "pitiful".
He said: "New build accounts for 0.7 per cent of the housing stock, this is a pittance compared to the existing stock, which remains carbon inefficient. What does Gordon Brown intend to do about that?
"Until the Government stops making these pitiful attempts to convince the public that it is committed to tackling climate change, we will never reach our targets to reduce C02 emissions."
More Birmingham Post pre-Budget stories:
>> Brown blasted for 'feeble' report
>> Brown fails to go green
>> Sir Digby sets sights on skills
>> Political Editor Jonathan Walker gives his opinion
>> Birmingham Chamber of Commerce & Industry's reaction
>> Air fares to rise
>> Pension fear over u-turn
>> Brown cautious but not frugal
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