RICS said in a statement: “Government will struggle to meet its targets of zero carbon by 2016 but a 70% reduction is technically and reliably achievable.”

“Building zero carbon homes is currently too expensive and it would be unrealistic to expect all homes to achieve these standards,” it said.

Gillian Charlesworth, RICS director of external affairs, said: “We believe that, given the financial constraints caused by the downturn, government should be aiming to maximise reductions in carbon emissions in a cost effective manner.

The institution believes a 70% reduction can be achieved through energy efficiency measures and on site technologies.

Jerry Percy, RICS building energy efficiency expert, said: “We need a more integrated approach to ensure that standards are met as the planning and regulatory systems are currently not delivering as they should be.

A number of factors have been identified to help achieve zero and low carbon homes, the RICS says.

David Gibbs

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie