To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth on 4 July (HL16607), whether they will now answer the question put, namely what recent considerations they have given to making it a requirement that all new homes be fitted with solar panels.
We have launched a consultation on options for a meaningful and achievable increase to the energy efficiency standards for new homes to be introduced through the Building Regulations in 2020, as a stepping stone to meeting our commitment to introduce a Future Homes Standard by 2025. Our preferred option for 2020 would achieve a 31% reduction in carbon emissions for an average home. We expect this would be achieved by homes being built with high fabric standards alongside the use of low-carbon heating, such as a heat-pump, or renewables technology, such as solar photovoltaic (PV) panels.
The Building Regulations set minimum energy performance standards for new homes and non-domestic buildings, but do not prescribe the technologies, materials or fuels to be used, allowing builders the flexibility to innovate and select the most practical and cost-effective solutions in particular circumstances. For example, many roofs are not suitable for solar PV panels because of visual amenity, age, strength, or orientation of the property. It would therefore be implausible for Government to enforce a blanket requirement to deploy solar PV panels on every new home.