Ban on fossil fuel heating in new homes from 2023
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced new standards 'mandating the end of fossil fuel heating systems in new homes from 2025 [since brought forward to 2023], delivering lower carbon, and lower fuel bills too'.
He said, 'To help ensure energy bills are low and homes are better for the environment, the government will introduce a Future Homes Standard by 2023, so that new build homes are future proofed with low carbon heating and worldleading levels of energy efficiency.'
This follows on rapidly from the Government's advisory Committee on Climate Change recommendation of ending the connection of new homes to the gas grid by 2025 in a report of 27 February, with properties heated with low-carbon energy instead.
The latest Committee on Climate Change report concludes that 'UK homes are not fit for the future'.
You may not have time to read the full report published in February 2019, 'UK Housing: fit for the future?' which runs to 134 pages. The report is summarised on UK homes not fit for the future and focuses, largely, on the urgent need to install heat pumps to reduce carbon emissions dramatically.
Comments on the ban and the Future Homes Standard
Environmental groups have welcomed the ban on burning fossil fuels for heating, but question why we should have to wait until 2025 [since changed to 2023] when the problem of climate change is already very urgent now.
Predictably, those who rely for their income on selling gas and oil or installing combustion boilers have expressed reservations.
On the Future Homes Standard, everyone has welcomed the move toward high levels of energy efficiency: higher levels of insulation are beneficial whatever the source of heating and lower temperature distribution systems like underfloor heating improve home comfort and lead to more efficient heating whether the source of heat is heat pumps or combustion boilers.
Future Homes Standard – Consultation
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government published its consultation on changes to Part L and Part F of the Building Regulations for new dwellings on 1 October 2019. This is a first step in setting out the Future Homes Standard for new-build dwellings. Critical to decarbonisation via electrification with heat pumps, it announces a significant reduction in the carbon factor for grid electricity, which far better reflects the rapidly decarbonising electrical generation and supply networks. The consultation sets out the plans for achieving the Future Homes Standard, including proposed options to increase the energy efficiency requirements for new homes in 2020 as a first step towards the full Future Homes Standard.
Responses are expected by 10 January 2020.
Grid Carbon Factors
The BEIS projections of the Grid Carbon Factor of UK electricity has fallen again for each of the years to come. BEIS published its updated report on 11 April 2019 and the falling carbon factor of grid electricity is a further reason to accelerate the move toward the electrification of heat in the UK.