Housing: Construction

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 1st December 2020.

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Photo of Alan Whitehead Alan Whitehead Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Climate Change), Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to make (a) heat pumps, (b) solar panels and (c) other domestic renewable technologies compulsory for new housing in future planning regulations.

Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

Mandating a particular renewable technology may not be appropriate for all dwellings in all areas. National planning policy encourages the use of renewables without requiring any particular technology. In the case of the Building Regulations, the Government sets minimum energy performance standards for new homes and non-domestic buildings. These are expressed in performance terms and do not prescribe the technologies, materials or fuels to be used. This allows builders and homeowners the flexibility to innovate and select the most practical and cost-effective solutions appropriate in any development. Not all dwellings may be suitable for solar panels because of their orientation and other reasons such as structural strength of the roof.

In October 2019, we launched the first stage of a two-part consultation that proposed changes to Part L of the Building Regulations for new homes. We proposed an ambitious uplift in the energy efficiency of new homes through the introduction of a Future Homes Standard. We expect that homes built to the Future Homes Standard will have carbon dioxide emissions 75-80 per cent lower than those built to current Building Regulations standards This means they will be fit for the future, with low carbon heating and very high fabric standards.

We committed in Planning for the Future to review the roadmap to the Future Homes Standard to ensure that implementation takes place to the shortest possible timeline. We will be publishing the Government response to the Future Homes Standard interim uplift consultation as soon as possible. This will set out a roadmap to the Future Homes Standard.

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