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Electric cars: Charge points could be requirement in new build homes

Electric cars: Charge points could be requirement in new build homes

Science
New homes in suburban England would need to be fitted with electric car charging points under a government proposal to cut emissions.Ministers also want new street lights to come with charge points wherever there's on-street parking.Details of a sales ban on new conventional petrol and diesel cars by 2040 are also expected to be set out.The strategy comes at a time when the government is facing criticism for failing to reduce carbon emissions.The government's target is to reduce the UK's greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% of 1990 levels by 2050. The proposals, announced by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, aim to make it easier to recharge an electric car rather than refuel petrol or diesel vehicles.They include: The need to assess if new homes a...
House prices: The areas where homes never cost £1m or more

House prices: The areas where homes never cost £1m or more

Business
Tens of thousands of £1m-plus homes have been sold in the last 10 years - but in 16 areas of England and Wales no property topped the £1m mark.While one-bedroom flats can sell for millions in London, the most luxurious properties in areas from Gateshead to Gloucester cost less than £1m.A delve into Land Registry data by the BBC in May revealed that sales of £1m-plus homes hit a new high last year.Fresh research shows where property has not collected a seven-figure sum. 'We have people retiring to here'Stoke-on-Trent is famously a capital of ceramics but it is not the pottery, but the property, that is attracting some people here.In the window of estate agent Reeds Rains ar...
Bitcoin energy use in Iceland set to overtake homes, says local firm

Bitcoin energy use in Iceland set to overtake homes, says local firm

Technology
Iceland is facing an "exponential" rise in Bitcoin mining that is gobbling up power resources, a spokesman for Icelandic energy firm HS Orka has said.This year, electricity use at Bitcoin mining data centres is likely to exceed that of all Iceland's homes, according to Johann Snorri Sigurbergsson.He said many potential customers were keen to get in on the act."If all these projects are realised, we won't have enough energy for it," he told the BBC.Mr Sigurbergsson's calculations were first reported by the Associated Press.Iceland has a small population, of around 340,000 people.But in recent years it has seen a marked increase in the number of new data centres, often built by firms wishing to tout green credentials. Nearly 100% of energy in Iceland comes from renewable sources.Bitcoin mini...
Scrutiny over wood and coal fires in UK homes

Scrutiny over wood and coal fires in UK homes

Science
Burning wood and coal in people's homes will come under scrutiny as part of a government drive to improve air pollution.Ministers are calling for evidence to help improve air quality in cities.They want people to ensure that wood is dry before burning, and that solid fuels are as clean as possible.But the UK is being given a final warning by the European Commission today for breaching laws on NOx emissions.The government is being told it will face court action in Europe unless its planned Clean Air Strategy does what it's supposed to.While environmentalists may wonder whether today's announcement on homes fires is a smokescreen, the government insists it's not.It says the domestic burning of house coal, smokeless solid fuels and wet wood is the single largest primary contributor of harmful...
Budget 2017: Plans to build 300,000 homes a year

Budget 2017: Plans to build 300,000 homes a year

Business
Media playback is unsupported on your devicePhilip Hammond says next week's Budget will set out how the government will build 300,000 new homes a year.But the chancellor said there was no "single magic bullet" to increase housing supply and the government would not simply "pour money in".Ministers want to speed up developments where planning permission has been granted and give more help to small building firms, he added.Labour says ministers "still have no plan to fix the housing crisis".Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show ahead of Wednesday's Budget, the chancellor also said: "There are no unemployed people" while discussing the threat to jobs posed by technological change - when pressed later, he said the government hadn't forgotten the 1.4m who are unemployedThe government was "on t...