CIEH welcomes new government proposals on energy efficient homes

20 January 2021, Ross Matthewman

CIEH has welcomed the UK Government’s announcement of a new consultation on future homes standards and energy efficiency in England.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) published a response to the consultation on the Future Homes Standard, which focussed on standards for new build homes to be introduced from 2025, as well as outlining details of a new consultation containing proposals for improving existing housing in England, such as:

  • Building work in existing buildings must meet new standards
  • Measures to tackle overheating in existing homes and drive down costly bills for families

Responding to the 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.

Existing homes will also be subject to higher standards – with a significant improvement on the standard for extensions, making homes warmer and reducing bills. CIEH responded to this consultation at the beginning of 2020.

Tamara Sandoul, Policy and Campaigns Manager at CIEH, said:

“We welcome the government’s new consultation, which includes proposals on improving the energy usage of existing buildings and measures to reduce overheating. We need to tackle all buildings, not just new builds, in order to make serious headway towards being carbon neutral and ensuring homes provide a healthy environment for people to live in.

We welcome the decision not to amend the Planning and Energy Act 2008, which means that local authorities will retain powers to set local energy efficiency standards for new homes, until the Future Homes Standard is introduced in 2025.

However, many new-build homes have been found to be built badly, not reaching required standards and creating problems for the owners and occupiers after the home is sold.

The Government’s proposals around improving build quality are centred on the creation of the Building Safety Regulator, which is being set up in response to Grenfell and the Hackitt Inquiry. However, this Regulator’s main focus will be on high-risk buildings rather than all buildings. We will therefore need to see how the wider regulatory regime is improved in practice once the new national body is in full operation.”

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