Last week, the government published draft regulations aimed to make all new homes ‘zero carbon ready’ by 2025.
Launched as the Future Homes Standard in October 2019, the consultation proposed a ban on gas boilers in new builds from 2025, to be replaced by low-carbon technologies such as heat networks.
Changes to Part L (energy) and Part F (ventilation) of the Building Regulations expect new homes to produce 75-80% lower carbon emissions compared to current levels by 2025, with new builds expected to produce 31% lower emissions by 2021 as part of an ‘interim uplift’ in Part L standards.
Existing homes will also be subject to stricter requirements to make them more energy efficient, including the replacement of windows and technologies such as heat pumps, cooling systems and fixed lighting.
Housing Minister Christopher Pincher said:
“Improving the energy performance of buildings is vital to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and protecting the environment for future generations to come.
The radical new standards announced today will not only improve energy efficiency of existing homes and other buildings but will also ensure our new homes are fit for the future, by reducing emissions from new homes by at least 75%.
This will help deliver greener homes and buildings, as well as reducing energy bills for hard-working families and businesses.”
Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive at the UK Green Building Council, said:
“We are pleased to see confirmation that the Future Homes Standard will mean new homes will have carbon dioxide emissions 75-80% lower than those built to current building regulations, though its regrettable that the Standard won’t be implemented until 2025, despite it being widely trailed that it would be brought forward to 2023.
We also welcome the interim 31% threshold later this year, which puts us on a path to the Future Homes Standard.”
In June 2019 the UK became the first major economy in the world to commit to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Domestic heat is recognised as one of the biggest contributors to UK carbon emissions. To achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, all UK homes will need to be decarbonised in the next 30 years.