Responding finally to the 2019 consultation on its 'Future Homes Standard', the government has decided that all new homes will have to have low carbon heating and be ‘zero carbon ready’ by 2025.
The Ministry of Housing has set out new energy efficiency standards that all new-build houses will be expected to meet. This means that no further retrofit work will be necessary to enable them to become zero-carbon homes as the electricity grid continues to decarbonise.
New homes are expected to produce 75-80% lower carbon emissions compared to current levels by 2025.
In 2019 the government introduced a legally binding target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050. Making houses less energy-intensive is all part of this.
While there is nothing about upgrading the existing housing stock, the standard does set down energy requirements for extensions or building improvement/renovation works.
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.”
The government plans include measures to tackle ventilation: a new requirement for additional ventilation and indoor air quality monitoring in high-risk non-domestic buildings such as offices and gyms, reducing the risk of infections being spread indoors.
There will also be a new overheating mitigation requirement in the building regulations.
Transitional arrangements will last for one year and apply to individual homes, rather than an entire development.
The government has also announced a consultation on higher performance targets for non-domestic buildings to make them ‘zero carbon ready’ by 2025.
The government’s consultation was the first part of a two-part consultation on Part L and Part F of the building regulations.(For the results see: The Future Homes Standard: summary of responses, and government response.)
Plans to make all other buildings, including existing homes, more energy efficient have been published as part of the Future Buildings Standard consultation.
This is the second of the two-part consultation on Part L and Part F and proposes new energy and ventilation standards for new and existing non-domestic buildings and existing domestic buildings, as well as addressing overheating in residential buildings.