By Elena Gagani

Future Homes Standard aims to see fossil fuel heating systems, such as gas boilers, banned from new homes by 2025 and replaced with low carbon technologies.

As part of achieving the net zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050, one of the most ambitious targets in the world, the UK government is leading the way towards decarbonisation of new-build homes. As underlined in the official document:

“The Future Homes Standard will require new buildings to be future-proofed with low carbon heating and world-leading levels of energy efficiency”.

“By making our homes and other buildings more energy efficient and embracing smart and low carbon technologies, we can improve the comfort and energy efficiency of people’s homes and boost economic growth while meeting our targets for carbon reduction”.

Currently homes account for 20% of overall emissions in the UK, thus ensuring home energy efficiency standards are met, will have a major impact on the country’s path to net zero carbon emissions. The outlined requirements mean that new homes will be very energy efficient with lower heating bills compared to existing older homes.

The new Standard will be introduced in 2025 and the government expects a 75-80% reduction of carbon emissions compared to a home built according to the current requirements. This will most likely be achieved through very high fabric standards and a low carbon heating system.

Consequently, a new home built to the Future Homes Standard might have a heat pump, triple glazing and standards for walls, floors and roofs that significantly limit any heat loss. The installation of carbon-saving technology such as solar panels is part of the mix, which will allow for lower fabric standards compared to other options and more carbon savings, however it comes with a higher build cost.

The scenario that includes solar PV is the one preferred by the government. In this note, we might see the number of residential solar installations rocketing in the next 10 years, with the cost of photovoltaics dropping dramatically, mainly due to the experience curve.

As Mr Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government noted: “Building new homes isn’t just about bricks and mortar. I want to ensure everyone – including developers – does their bit to protect the environment and give the next generation beautiful, environmentally friendly homes that local communities can support.