All homes and businesses will have to meet rigorous new energy efficiency standards to lower energy consumption and bills, helping to protect the environment, has been unveiled by the Housing Minister Chris Pincher. However construction has expressed concern around the unrealistic programme and shortage of skills to deliver the plans.
Responding to a consultation on the Future Homes Standard, the government has set 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. 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.
Mr 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%.”
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “Unfortunately the timetable set out will be a challenge for builders without more support to build back greener. The Government’s Green Jobs Task Force must develop a nationwide training programme to upskill the existing workforce and bring new entrants into the building industry.
“The Government should also use the forthcoming Budget to tackle some of the long-standing barriers facing local builders such as poorly resourced planning departments. It’s unacceptable that small site planning applications are typically waiting one year for a determination.
“A focus on future homes shouldn’t forget Britain’s 28 million existing homes, many of which are energy inefficient, and 85% of which will still be in use in 2050. These homes need to be retrofitted to help deliver the Government’s net zero carbon targets as well as creating much-needed jobs and training opportunities in each community across the country.”
The government plans also include measures to tackle 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. It is also looking at 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 a consultation on higher performance targets for non-domestic buildings which will mean they will be zero carbon ready by 2025.