Government sets out ‘rigorous’ new energy efficiency standards for homes and offices

All homes and businesses will have to meet strict new energy efficiency standards to lower energy consumption, according to new plans unveiled by the government this week.

Responding to its consultation on the Future Homes Standard, the government set out its strategy to make all new homes ‘zero carbon ready’ by 2025. These homes are expected to produce 75-80% lower carbon emissions compared to current levels. To help industry prepare for 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. The requirement for replacement, repairs and parts to be more energy efficient. This includes the replacement of windows and building services such as heat pumps, cooling systems, or fixed lighting.

‘Zero carbon ready’ non-domestic buildings

The government also announced a consultation on its Future Buildings Standard – which sets higher performance targets for non-domestic buildings and make them zero carbon ready by 2025. As a stepping stone, it is seeking to tighten Part L (energy efficiency) and Part F (ventilation) Building Regulations 2021 to drive a 27% reduction in carbon emissions on average, per building. The consultation closes in April 2021.

Housing Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP 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 government is committed to reaching net-zero and is taking considerable action to address the emissions from buildings – with heating and powering buildings currently accounting for 40% of the UK’s total energy usage.”