PLANS to build homes with a low carbon footprint have been labelled ‘misleading’.

Oxford’s Green city councillors have questioned the Labour-run authority’s announcement they will build eight new zero carbon homes.

Last week the council announced it would be building eight new, small council houses aimed at elderly people.

But Green city councillor Dick Wolff contested claims the new homes were truly carbon neutral.

READ AGAIN about the new houses here

Mr Wolff said: “We are beginning to see a worrying pattern of exaggerated environmental claims.

“Firstly, the Council announced a zero emission zone that isn’t ‘zero emission’ - now we have the highly misleading claim that the Council will be building ‘zero carbon homes’.”

The St Mary’s ward councillor said the fact that plug-in appliances did not count towards their carbon footprints meant they were not truly zero carbon.

The council said all emissions caused by turning on lights,  the hot water, heating and ventilation from the buildings should create net zero carbon emissions.

But its claim the homes would be zero carbon were unfounded according to the Greens, because the extra energy used by plug-in appliances, like toasters, the fridge, and hair dryers would lead to more fossil fuels being burned.

A city council spokesman said new homes were described as zero carbon for 'regulated energy use'.

They said: “The new homes will be zero carbon for regulated energy use – i.e. lighting, space and hot water heating, and ventilation.

“The City Council will not regulate the fittings that tenants introduce to their new home (e.g. kettles, TVs, lamps, etc), but it will encourage them to use as close to zero carbon technology as possible.

“It is thought that the homes will be the first zero carbon for regulated energy use new-builds to be constructed in Oxford.”

The homes are fitted with a solar panels, triple glazed windows and insulation to help reduce the amount of energy which is needed to heat and power them.

The new homes are being built by the city council’s wholly-owned company Oxford Direct Services at several sites:

  • Two one bedroom and two two-bedroom single-storey retirement homes on a site between existing homes in Bracegirdle Road and Chillingworth Crescent in Wood Farm, Headington. The project includes demolishing a side extension to a house in Bracegirdle Road to create an access road.
  • Two one-bedroom and one two-bedroom single-storey retirement homes behind Mortimer Drive, Marston, which are being built in the place of garages.
  • One two-bedroom single-storey retirement home in Broad Oak, Slade Park, Headington.

This article has been updated to include comment from Oxford City Council 26/05/20