The UK government has published its Future Homes and Buildings Standards consultation emphasising that all new homes must be “net zero ready” from 2025.
The consultation, which has been published by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, also revealed that heat pumps must be a standard within all new homes, something that could be a major boost to the sector.
Alongside heat pumps, solar PV is expected to play a vital role in the development of net zero ready homes.
According to the consultation, the government is “committed to improving the energy efficiency and reducing the carbon emissions of new homes and non-domestic buildings”. It is worth noting that this consultation builds upon the 2021 Part L uplift.
The document confirmed that the government “found no practical way to allow the installation of fossil fuel boilers while also delivering significant carbon savings. As such, we do not expect fossil fuel heating, such as gas, hybrid heat pumps and hydrogen-ready boilers, will meet these standards”.
Improving energy efficiency measures within homes could have a significant impact on the UK’s net zero goals. By reducing the amount of energy that is required to heat homes, particularly during the cold winter periods, this could reduce the strain on the grid due to lower demand.
The Future Homes Standard consultation could also introduce additional economic opportunities and benefits.
One of these includes unlocking investment in UK supply chains to boost growth. According to think tank E3G, the Future Homes Standard is central to realising the government’s ambitions for the UK to be one of the largest markets in Europe for heat pumps by the end of the decade and could unlock up to £1 billion investment in UK manufacturing by 2028.
The think tank also states that a strong heat pump manufacturing base could contribute £500 million gross value added (GVA) per annum in export opportunities and this growth could support up to 6,000 heating engineer jobs annually to 2028.
This will also help many housebuilders up and down the country with many having called for regulation that provides a level playing field and rewards ambition, quality and social responsibility. In doing so, many companies that have been gearing up for net zero homes now have an opportunity to bolster the market.
Commenting on the results, Juliet Phillips, senior policy advisor at E3G said: “Ensuring that all new homes are built highly efficient and with clean heat is perhaps the most popular and common-sense of climate policies.
“We’re delighted that the government has finally confirmed that all new homes must be built to new zero standards from 2025. This is great news for home-buyers, who will save money on energy bills and avoid the need for costly retrofits in the future. It’s also great news for the UK’s clean tech industry, providing the long-term policy certainty needed to boost investment in skills and supply chains.”