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New homes will have to meet stricter energy efficiency standards

All new homes will have to meet stricter energy efficiency standards in future as part of the government’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment.

Newbuild properties are expected to produce 75-80% lower carbon emissions compared to current levels. To ensure the building industry is ready to meet the new standards by 2025, new homes will be expected to produce 31% lower carbon emissions from this year.

Existing homes will also be subject to higher standards – with a significant improvement on the standard for extensions, making homes warmer and reducing bills. Replacement windows and building services such as heat pumps, cooling systems, or fixed lighting will also need to be more energy efficient.

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 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%.”

The government plans also include measures to tackle:

• ventilation – 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.

• overheating in residential buildings – 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 need to meet. These will last for one year and apply to individual homes, rather than an entire development.

There has already been considerable progress made on emissions from homes, with overall total emissions reduced by about a fifth since 1990 despite there being approximately a quarter more homes.

In 2019 the government introduced a legally binding target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

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