Northern Ireland launches consultation to improve energy efficiency in new buildings

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The Department of Finance (DoF) has launched a consultation proposing increased energy efficiency standards for new buildings.

According to the DoF, their proposals are the first step in an ambitious programme of improvements over the coming years, which will include further uplifts to energy efficiency requirements, as well as steps to address standards on ventilation and overheating.

Launching the consultation, Finance Minister Conor Murphy stated: “Improving the energy performance of buildings is vital in tackling climate change.

“The new standards my Department is proposing are designed to ensure new buildings are greener, with lower emissions helping to protect the environment.

“Better energy efficiency measures will also help minimise energy bills for hard-working families and businesses.

“I would encourage everyone to have their say on this important consultation before it closes on 19 December.”

This consultation sets out DoF proposals to uplift guidance on energy efficiency and carbon performance requirements for new buildings.

Three options are considered:

  • Option 1: do nothing
  • Option 2: a 25% betterment of the current emission targets for all new dwellings and a 15% betterment for new buildings other than dwellings; and
  • Option 3: a 40% betterment for new houses, and 25% for new flats and 15% for new buildings other than dwellings

Option 2 and 3 also propose improved minimum standards for building fabric and encourage more air-tightness testing.

Further proposals, to take into account updated methodologies and software currently under consideration in other regions, are expected to follow in subsequent phases.

DoF is seeking comments and views of interested parties on the proposed changes.

The views submitted will help to inform the development of final policy proposals prior to the DoF Minister bringing these forward for consideration by the NI Executive and assembly.

The ‘Consultation Proposals for amendment of Technical Booklet Guidance to Part F (Conservation of fuel and power)’ accepts contributions until 11.59pm on 19th of December.

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