Government responds to Future Homes Standard Consultation

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) has responded to the Future Homes Standard Consultation and has now set out plans to ‘radically’ improve the energy performance of new homes.

The response outlines that, under new guidelines, all new homes will have to be built to a highly energy efficient standard with low carbon heating and be zero carbon ready by 2025.

Further, all homes and businesses will have to meet new rigorous energy efficiency standards to help lower energy consumption and bills.

Key Headlines

  • Dwelling performance uplift to target a 31% Carbon saving uplift (highest target of the two consulted options)
  • New Part L 2012 will be published Dec 2021 with an implementation date of June 2022
  • Transitional arrangement to apply to individual buildings (not sites). You will need to start work before June 2023 to avoid an individual building being assessed under part L2021

Under the new plans, newbuild homes are expected to produce 75-80% lower carbon emissions compared to current newbuild housing stock. To ensure industry is ready to meet the new standards by 2025, new homes will be expected to produce 31% lower carbon emissions from 2022.

Standards for existing homes will also be raised, with improvements to the standard of extensions, as well as the standards for repairs and parts to be more efficient, such as windows, heat pumps, cooling systems and fixed lighting.

Transitional Arrangements

Interim arrangements will be put in place as the government draws up its permanent plans to move this initiative forward. This will look to deliver certainty to developers and clarify the standards expected to ongoing work. This is expected to last for one year but only applies to individual homes.

Developers will need to start work before June 2023 to avoid an individual building being assessed under Part L 2021. It is expected that the new Part L 2021 will be published in December this year with a billed implementation date of June 2022.

The Housing Minister Christopher Pincher MP said, “Improving the energy performance of buildings is vital to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and protecting the environment for future generations to come.

The radical new standards announced today will not only improve energy efficiency of existing homes and other buildings but will also ensure our new homes are fit for the future, by reducing emissions from new homes by at least 75%.

This will help deliver greener homes and buildings, as well as reducing energy bills for hard-working families and businesses.”

Initial feedback from Stroma Group

Stroma is continuing to review and respond to this new information. We will be arranging some CPD, technical information and advisory services from next week.

Stroma Certification’s Director of Energy Certification, Andrew Parkin, said, "This news is another big step towards government's overall strategy to reduce carbon emissions and energy use. It is a joint announcement and can be seen as part 1 of 2 of the Future Standards consultations. It has taken more time to get to this point than I anticipated. I am very keen for the government to release the new regulations as they are so important to improving the standards and performance of new and existing buildings.

It has been over 8 years since the last regulations release, and during this time, new buildings have been built to the same standards without improvement (with the exception of some local requirements). I firmly believed that we would be using SAP 10.2 by now and applying the updated regulations.

However, the last 12 months since the consultation on the Future Homes Standard concluded have not been anywhere close to a normal year and delays are understandable. We do now have some certainty of what the government intends to do with the interim arrangements towards the Future Standards in 2025. I have done a very quick review and I can see that the government have pulled back on a few areas and are very much listening to the collective views of the industry.

Stroma Certification will be reviewing the Future Homes Standards, and discussing with clients over the coming days, and will summarise the key points that are in the response document. At the same time, the second part of the consultation process - The Future Building Standards - has been launched.

This is another large consultation document and is again, an opportunity for Stroma members and industry to understand governments intentions and direction of travel, and also provides an opportunity to offer feedback and comment. Again, Stroma will begin to review this document in detail and will be putting together our thoughts and feedback in due course. We urge our members to use this final opportunity to do the same, before the regulations and methodologies are set by government."

Andy Mitchell, Stroma Built Environment’s Director of Energy Services said, "This is arguably the biggest performance uplift we have seen throughout the history of Part L1. The next two years will be very challenging for the industry. Stroma Built Environment is ready to support our clients with meeting the new Part L targets and we look forward to discussing your future projects."

We’re ready to support you with Part L changes

You can read more about the government’s response to the Future Home Standard Consultation here. We will shortly issue a summary report on the core conclusion to The Future Homes Standard and we will be issuing CPD dates shortly.

  • If you have a forthcoming project that you would like Part L and energy consultancy support with, please contact Stroma Built Environment on 01924 237 500
  • Stroma Certification members should call 0345 621 11 11 for first line technical support and queries about the changes