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How Will New Builds Reduce Energy Emissions?

2 min

New homes are crucial to the housing sector shift towards net-zero. Quadrant Smart looks at the latest announcement by the government to see how this will affect new builds.

New homes and buildings in England will have to produce significantly less CO2 under new rules announced by the government.

Under new regulations, CO2 emissions from new build homes must be around 30% lower than current standards.

Other new buildings, including offices and shops, must also be reduced by 27% in a bid to help deliver a UK net-zero.

Low carbon technology, such as solar panels and heat pumps, will be installed within new builds in order to cut emissions and also lower the cost of energy bills for families.

Heating and powering buildings currently account for 40% of the UK’s total energy use

All new residential buildings including homes, care homes, student accommodation and children’s homes must also be designed to reduce overheating, to ensure they are fit for the future.

Housing Minister Eddie Hughes told Quadrant Smart: “Climate change is the greatest threat we face, and we must act to protect our precious planet for future generations.

The government is doing everything it can to deliver net-zero and slashing CO2 emissions from homes and buildings is vital to achieving this commitment.

“The changes will significantly improve the energy efficiency of the buildings where we live, work and spend our free time and are an important step on our country’s journey towards a cleaner, greener built environment.”

Improvements to ventilation will also be introduced to support the safety of residents in newly built homes and to prevent the spread of airborne viruses in non-residential buildings.

46% of homes in England have now rated C or above for energy efficiency, compared to 14% in 2010

The changes announced today to the government’s Building Regulations, which set the standards in England for the design, construction, and alteration of buildings, following a public consultation and will come into effect from June 2022.

They will raise standards and are an important step towards a cleaner greener built environment, paving the way for the Future Homes and Buildings Standard in 2025, which will mean all future homes are net-zero ready and will not need retrofitting.

The new regulations come alongside £6.6 billion of direct investment into improving the energy efficiency of buildings during this Parliament. The Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, Local Authority Delivery scheme and Home Upgrade Grant scheme make grants available to low-income households for insulation, solar panels, heat pumps and other efficiency and decarbonisation measures.

Last week, a further £400 million of funding was announced for more than 200 local authority areas as part of a new Sustainable Warmth Competition.