According to Zero Carbon Hub, the non-profit organisation holding operational responsibility to achieve the government's target of zero carbon homes in England from 2016, there is now clear evidence of a 'Performance Gap' between the as-designed and as-built energy performance of new homes.

Since the start of 2013, over 140 professionals from across the industry have been working with the Zero Carbon Hub on a government-funded project to explore potential causes of the Performance Gap and to develop cost-effective and realistic proposals to help close it.

The Performance Gap creates potential risks affecting government, residents and the industry. It can impact on national carbon budget targets so future zero carbon homes targets may not be met, and residents may also suffer with having to pay higher than expected energy bills.

The problem occurs when a constructed home requires more energy than was predicted based on its design, without taking into account the behaviour of occupants. It can arise due to issues at various stages of the house-building process – from planning and concept design through detailed design, energy modelling, procurement, construction and commissioning, to testing and verification.

Key speakers include Stephen Williams, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government who will launch the report, Stephen Stone, chief executive of Crest Nicholson and Nick Rogers, director of design at Taylor Wimpey.