Long-term Plan for Housing - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:42 pm on 11 January 2024.

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Photo of Baroness Penn Baroness Penn Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) 2:42, 11 January 2024

My Lords, the right reverend Prelate is right that, when we consider the quality of people’s homes, we absolutely need to think about existing stock, not just new homes. When it comes to new homes, we have just launched the consultation on the future homes standard, which will have in place regulations that mean that all new homes built from 2025 onwards will need to be net-zero ready and have much higher levels of energy efficiency. They would most likely have heat pumps installed as a way to deliver those net-zero targets. When it comes to existing homes, we have a huge range of government support in place to support increased energy efficiency. A lot of that has focused initially on those on low incomes: for example, looking at social housing, there is the social housing decarbonisation fund. We are broadening that out to support other people too. We have the boiler upgrade grant, which allows people to replace their old boilers with heat pumps, with a significant proportion of those costs met by government. We have debated VAT a number of times in this House, but I will say that we have introduced a reduced rate of VAT for energy-efficiency measures, and we extended the scope of the measures that that covers in the most recent Autumn Statement.