Back in June 2019 – the summer before we were in the grip of a worldwide pandemic, before ‘furlough’ and ‘lockdown’ had become commonplace words in our vocabulary – the UK was the first major economy in the world to set target greenhouse emissions to net zero by 2050.
While this may seem like an epoch ago, the Government’s proposed changes to Part L of Building Regulations are coming into play soon. And it’s no secret that we are all expecting a nationwide ban on gas boilers in all new build homes. So, here’s a reminder about what this means for developers across the UK.
The gas boiler ban hopes to inspire a new generation of homes run on low carbon heat pumps. The Future Homes Standard, to be introduced in 2025, will require that new build domestic developments be proofed with low carbon heating and world-leading levels of energy efficiency. The Government proposes that new builds built to this standard should have 75% to 80% fewer carbon emissions than those homes built to current Building Regs.
A key part of the Future Homes Standard is to ban the installation of gas boilers, and so it seems slightly contradictory that current Building Regulations (last updated in 2013) actually encourages their use. Until recently, gas boilers were considered an environmentally friendly alternative to coal-fuelled electricity.
But more recent research, carried out by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, shows that heating is responsible for more than 1/3 of the UK’s carbon emissions. 95% of UK homes are now centrally heated with the vast majority relying on gas or oil-fired boilers, which makes carbon-intensive heating the biggest contributor to global warming across all UK sectors.
So, in a valiant effort to reach their 2050 targets, the Government has decided to design out all carbon-intensive heating systems. These governmental changes to Part L of Building Regulations do not come without consequences for UK developers, who will soon have to grapple with higher costs of purchasing and installing renewables. The UK Government seems to have its heart set on promoting the use of air source heat pumps as they are more efficient than panel or storage heaters. The Committee on Climate Change estimates that, if on track, there will be 2.5 million heat pumps in new homes as early as 2030!
Abbey Consultants understands that complying with new standards of Building Regulations can often feel like a minefield. If you are beginning to think about swapping out gas or oil-fired boilers for more carbon efficient alternatives like air source heat pumps, we are here to help you to achieve regulations with cost-effective solutions.
We are always happy to have a chat on 01923 274 427, or email us at email@example.com