Basil McCrea Gives Full Backing For Zero Carbon Homes Construction
The future of house building in Northern Ireland was up for discussion as breakaway politician Basil McCrea visited Northern Ireland's first zero carbon home which was accredited by the Government.
Mr McCrea, who resigned from the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) in February, and will launch his own political party in a few week's time, travelled to Middletown to see how greener technologies can be used to address issues such as fuel poverty - an issue which is becoming more prevalent in Northern Ireland.
Mr McCrea described the 3,000 sq ft showhouse as "an exemplary concept" which could stamp out fuel poverty for privately owned homeowners and for social housing. But Mr McCrea said the concept could also be adopted for new build hospitals, schools and other public buildings.
Per annum, energy bills for the zero carbon house amount to approximately £300 - an amount which many oil burning homeowners could use in a number of weeks during a cold snap.
Mr McCrea said: "This house is the first house in Northern Ireland which has been accredited by the Government and was relieved of rates because of its energy efficiencies. It has received support from other leading politicians, north and south of the border, universities and colleges, social housing associations and other government organisations.
"This is the way homes should be built. We have just had a very long winter and there are people in Northern Ireland who suffer from fuel poverty. People are choosing to either heat their homes or eat. This is a worrying development. But, there is a solution here and we fully support it. I can see for myself how these green technologies combined can save people so much money. This is a traditional home, built in a rural location, and, because of the clever uses of technology, it is a low cost family home to run."
John McClatchey, MD of Green Future NI, the company responsible for building the zero carbon house, was delighted to welcome Mr McCrea.
He said: "We are continually getting more and more support for our zero carbon initiative. This is the future of house building in Northern Ireland. People are fed up paying huge energy bills when it is completely unnecessary. The more energy efficient your house is, the less money you have to pay out on heating and electricity. It is that simple.
"It's also excellent news that the Northern Ireland construction industry showed a sharp improvement in the first quarter of the year, well ahead of other regions in the UK."