New homes in England to produce nearly a third less carbon under new government rules

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New homes and buildings in England will have to produce ‘significantly’ less CO2 under new rules announced by the government to help the country move towards net zero.

Under the new regulations, CO2 emissions from new build homes must be around 30% lower than current standards and emissions from other new buildings, including offices and shops, must be reduced by 27%.

Housing Minister Eddie Hughes commented on the announcement: “Climate change is the greatest threat we face and we must act to protect our precious planet for future generations.

“The government is doing everything it can to deliver net zero and slashing CO2 emissions from homes and buildings is vital to achieving this commitment.

“The changes will significantly improve the energy efficiency of the buildings where we live, work and spend our free time and are an important step on our country’s journey towards a cleaner, greener built environment.”

According to Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, heating and powering buildings currently makes up 40% of the UK’s total energy use.

All new residential buildings, including homes, care homes, student accommodation and children’s homes, must also be designed to reduce overheating, making sure they are fit for the future and protect the most vulnerable people.

Improvements to ventilation will also be introduced to support the safety of residents in newly-built homes and to prevent the spread of airborne viruses in new non-residential buildings.

The changes to the government’s Building Regulations, which set the standards in England for the design, construction and alteration of buildings, follow a public consultation and will come into effect from June 2022.

They will raise standards and are an important step towards a cleaner greener built environment, paving the way for the Future Homes and Buildings Standard in 2025, which will mean all future homes are net zero ready and will not need retrofitting.

The latest figures show almost half (46%) of the homes in England are now rated C or above for energy efficiency, compared to 14% in 2010.

There will be a six-month period before the new regulations come into force on 15th June 2022.

Transitional arrangements are in place which mean that if a building notice, initial notice, or full plans for building work are submitted to a local authority before 15 June 2022, then provided the building work commences by 15 June 2023, work on that individual building is permitted to continue under the previous standards.

More information about this announcement is available on the UK Government website.