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Tighter energy standards for new homes from this year

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Written by: Owain Thomas
20/01/2021
New homes built this year must produce a third less carbon emissions than previous properties, the government has confirmed.

The change will apply to properties already under construction and will eventually lead to a zero carbon limit by 2025.

In response to its Future Homes Standard consultation, the government said it was setting out plans “to radically improve the energy performance of new homes with all homes to be highly energy efficient, with low carbon heating and be zero carbon ready by 2025.”

These homes are expected to produce 75-80% lower carbon emissions compared to current levels and to prepare to meet these standards, new homes will be expected to produce 31% lower carbon emissions from 2021.

Existing homes will also be subject to higher standards – with a significant improvement on the standard for extensions, making homes warmer and reducing bills.

The government will also introduce a requirement for replacement, repairs and parts to be more energy efficient including the replacement of windows and building services such as heat pumps, cooling systems, or fixed lighting.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) said there will be stringent transitional arrangements to provide 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.

A consultation on higher performance targets for non-domestic buildings has also been published which will mean they will be zero carbon ready by 2025.

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.”

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