The following is a press release from
Communities and Local Government.
Housing and Planning Minister John Healey has announced changes to the country’s building regulations to make our homes, shops and offices warmer and cheaper to run and take Britain a step closer to meeting our low carbon commitments.
The amendments coming into force this year will make homes 25% more energy efficient, typically saving householders £100 a year on their heating bills.
Building on the Warm Homes, Greener Homes strategy announced last week, the Government is continuing the drive towards all new buildings reaching the zero carbon standard from 2019.
The increasingly tough standards will see around 2 million tonnes of carbon saved every year by 2020, equivalent to taking over 3 million cars off of the road.
The measures include practical steps that builders can take to make buildings greener, while at the same time ensuring that more efficient, air-tight homes and offices are sufficiently ventilated. Where homeowners choose to extend or renovate their homes, they will now need to use more energy efficient windows and boilers.
New homes will need to be more water efficient too, with each household saving, on average, enough water a year for 260 baths.
Mr Healey said:
"The higher green standards we’re bringing in this year will cut emissions and play a crucial part in achieving our zero carbon policies. They will also make homes and businesses cheaper to heat and run.
"Nearly half the UK’s carbon emissions come from our buildings. But more than one in three of the buildings we’ll be working in and living in by 2050 have not yet been built, so action now can make a real difference in the future. We must all adapt to ensure that we cut carbon emissions where we can.
"While we must act to reduce carbon emissions, we must do so in sensible stages to avoid unreasonable burdens on the house building industry."
The UK is the first country to confirm legislation to require all new homes to be zero carbon from 2016, with all other buildings to meet the standard from 2019. The amendments to building regulations announced today will come into force in October, giving builders 6 months to prepare. The standards will help to deliver real carbon savings without creating obstacles for house builders during the economic recovery.
Our homes will also be safer from this year, with improved hot water safety and a new requirement for carbon monoxide alarms whenever solid fuel combustion appliances are installed.