Please download The Future Homes Standard Briefing, use the following link for a PDF version.
What is the Future Homes Standard?
Government ambition is for the homes of the future to be built to highly energy efficient standards with low carbon heating systems and anticipate that heat pumps will become the primary heating technology for new homes. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) will amend Part L (Conservation of fuel and power) and Part F (Ventilation) of the Building Regulations, mandating new houses to be built to these standards.
Ahead of the Standard coming into effect, a technical specification will be consulted on in 2023 by DLUHC, with the necessary legislation introduced in 2024, ahead of implementation in 2025.
It is crucial that the Future Homes Standard supports new built homes fit for the future, equipped with cost-saving clean technologies, and does not allow new homes to be connected to the gas grid. Failure to do so could lock owners of new homes into polluting fossil fuels and put them at risk of costly retrofits. Heat pumps are one key component of the whole suite of complimentary efficiency technologies that can and should be included as standard in new homes, together with rooftop solar, battery storage, and electric vehicles.
Benefits of a clean heat approach
We can enhance the British housing stock with
accelerated deployment of heat pumps, offering clean, safe, cost-effective
heating at efficiencies 3-4 times more efficient than an A-rated gas boiler.
Getting Off Gas
The UK must urgently reduce its costly consumption of gas, to relieve our economic exposure to volatile gas markets and to bolster our energy security. Replacing a gas boiler with a hydronic heat pump reduces a home’s gas use by over 70%, assuming the makeup of the electricity grid remains constant.
Climate and Net Zero
We cannot achieve net zero without decarbonising heat, which is responsible for 14% of UK carbon emissions. New build homes represent a significant opportunity to pump prime the market for the roll-out of environmentally friendly heating across the UK.
Innovation and Growth
New build connection to the gas grid risks unnecessary default reliance on inefficient fossil fuel heating. Instead, the Standard can boost UK heat pump manufacturing and installation, helping Britain position itself as a global leader in low carbon heating technology. This would create thousands of futureproofed jobs and boost the economy by billions of pounds.
Case Study – Redrow Plc
Redrow, one of the UK’s largest housebuilders, have confirmed ahead of the Future Homes Standard, that they will install heat pumps as standard in all upcoming developments. Their reasoning includes growing consumer demand for energy efficient homes, a “seamless” integration of heat pumps into their home designs, and a commitment to sustainable industry practice.
Redrow’s strategic decision demonstrates that heat pumps are not just ‘viable’, they are ‘optimal’; they are the technology of the future today, with over 40 million units installed in Europe alone.
MCS Charitable Foundation Polling
- 87% of people support new homes being built to the highest energy efficiency standard possible (November 2022).
- 81% of MPs believe homes should be built to a high energy efficiency standard, that won’t require retrofitting at a later date (February 2023).
Recommendations to support
- Ensure no watering down of the Future Homes Standard so that households and clean tech companies can benefit.
- Support SME housebuilders to ensure they can access and afford to build homes to higher standards.
- Support further investment in the electricity grid as necessary to allow for the smooth electrification of homes and buildings.
- Provide assistance to boost skills and supply chains able to deliver higher standards at scale.
Find out more at electrifyheat.uk or reach out to Leo.Vincent@e3g.org to set up a meeting.