This result was simply "not a surprise" for the panel of speakers, however, one group who voted against it stated "We said no, because if you relax the rules and legislation, people will take the easy option."
Patrick Bellew of engineering consultant firm, atelier ten, argued "No matter how hard we try, we get to a point on buildings where we spend more money than we need to per tonne of carbon saved, and we could do a lot better by spending it elsewhere.
"My proposal is to use the Section 106 planning process to offset this residual carbon. [Developers] could invest, say, £500,000 into a community fund that pays for a programme of solar panels right around the borough."
Proposition 3: "This house believes that the UK energy supply industry should be required by law to offer feed-in tariffs attractive to small-scale generators of renewable energy."
Almost two thirds of delegates agreed with this proposition.
Patrick Bellew commented that this was "logical and makes sense" and offered some 'innovative' advice, "my solution to all of this is if the banks have lost £5 trillion, find the guy who's got it all, then he has to pay the difference". Although slightly flippant, this comment was backed up by several delegates, including Don Leeper, former BSRIA Chairman and CIBSE President, "When we have real problems, money can be found to deal with them, like Iraq and financial systems, so politically we can find the money when the problem is serious enough".
Among the objections to the proposition, one delegate commented that they "Fundamentally believe that it won't work as it just heats up the grid and my company is paid to cool it down again, but if you think the generator somewhere is winding down because you are putting a little back into the grid, then you are wrong".
Proposition 4: "This house believes that the government should mandate the energy supply industry to enable demand-side energy management in 80% of all buildings by 2015."
Almost 70% of delegates agreed with this proposition.
Paul King, of the UK Green Building Council, explained that change needs to sweep through the energy supply industry, "We have an energy supply industry which is predicated upon selling as much power as possible to as many people as possible. But we need an energy industry that is predicated upon selling as little energy to as many people as possible. Government has to regulate that."
Among the detractors of the proposition was a comment that, "The principle is sound and should be done on certain buildings, but we don't think it should be done by the energy supply companies - [the energy suppliers] should concentrate on producing energy efficiently."
See charts for full results of the proposition voting (click on image to zoom).
Prior to the conference, BSRIA also asked for views on 'Achieving zero carbon', click to download a summary of the comments received.
A detailed report of the Briefing will appear in the next edition of Delta T, the magazine for the BSRIA Membership.