New energy efficiency standards announced for homes and businesses

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New energy efficiency standards for all homes and businesses have been announced today as the government responded to the consultation on the Future Homes Standard.

In their response, the government has set out plans to improve the energy performance of new homes, with all homes to be highly energy efficient, with low carbon heating and ‘zero carbon ready’ by 2025.

According to the government, these homes are expected to produce 75-80% lower carbon emissions compared to current levels.

To ensure industry is ready to meet the new standards by 2025, new homes will be expected to produce 31% lower carbon emissions from 2021.

Existing homes will also be subject to higher standards, with replacement, repairs and parts required to be more energy efficient.

This includes the replacement of windows and building services such as heat pumps, cooling systems, or fixed lighting.

Housing Minister Christopher Pincher commented on the announcement: “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 also include other measures, such as:

  • 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 any potential infections being spread indoors.
  • A new overheating mitigation requirement in the Building Regulations.

There will be stringent transitional arrangements in place to provide all developers with certainty about the standards they are building.

These will last for one year and apply to individual homes, rather than an entire development.

The government has also announced the second stage of their two-part consultation on proposed changes to Part L (Conservation of fuel and power) and Part F (ventilation) of the Building Regulations.

This builds on the Future Homes Standard consultation by setting out energy and ventilation standards for non-domestic buildings, existing homes and includes proposals to mitigate against overheating in residential buildings.

The consultation, which closes at 11.45pm on 13 April 2021, also sets out proposals for a Future Buildings Standard, which seeks to provide a pathway to highly efficient and zero carbon ready non-domestic buildings.

More information about this consultation and how to take part is available on the government website.

The government response to the Future Homes Standard consultation, which sought views on how to best improve the energy performance of new homes, is available on the government website.