IEMA supports call for more ambitious Future Homes Standard

26th February 2024


A consortium including IEMA and the Good Homes Alliance have drafted a letter to UK government ministers expressing disappointment with the proposed Future Homes Standard.

While acknowledging some positives with the planned 2025 regulations, which aim to improve the energy efficiency of new buildings, the letter outlines some immediate concerns that need to be addressed.

For example, the consortium “strongly disagree” with omitting solar photovoltaics (PV) from notional specifications, and lowering building fabric standards, which could lead to an additional £600-£700 per year on energy bills for residents.

The group is also concerned with plans to use ‘primary energy’ instead of ‘delivered energy’ as a performance metric, and is calling for mandatory testing of buildings following completion.

On the proposed regulations, the letter states: “This is not a definitive Future Homes Standard, but rather a positive step towards it.

“We collectively bring knowledge and experience of building to higher standards, and offer practical justification for achievable standards which benefit industry and residents in line with net-zero goals.

"We urge you to collaborate with us to develop the standard further."

Addressed to levelling up secretary Michael Gove and energy secretary Claire Coutinho, the letter also recommends common regulations for local authorities, sector professionals and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

These include regulating embodied carbon in new buildings, improving fabric standards for U values and air tightness, and improving new home ventilation systems.

The recommendations could be used from 2025 onwards, and inform the next iteration of building regulations by 2028.

“This needs to be signalled now by the government, to avoid any negative impact on housing supply, as it will then be factored into land prices,” the Good Homes Alliance said in a press release.

“Higher standards are not a constraint on housing supply; they are an investment in a sustainable future that benefits both homeowners and the environment.

“The consortium urges the government to embrace these recommendations in shaping the Future Homes Standard for a greener and more resilient built environment.”

The group is inviting organisations to sign the letter, which will be sent to Gove and Coutinho before the consultation closes on Wednesday 6 March. The deadline for signatories is Thursday 29 February.

Image credit: Shutterstock

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