What is the Future Homes Standard and how might it affect you? - thumbnail image

What is the Future Homes Standard and how might it affect you?

From 2025, the Future Homes Standard aims to revolutionise new homes by cutting their carbon emissions and increasing their energy efficiency. The Standard, when introduced, will require the construction industry to meet a number of requirements. In this blog post, we take a look at these changes and explore their implications for future new-build owners and residents.

The background behind the Future Homes Standard

In order to reach its aim of achieving net zero by 2050, the UK government has identified the decarbonisation of new buildings as a key area in which to focus its efforts. The built environment (which includes residential and commercial buildings) is responsible for 30% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, so it represents a significant piece of the net zero puzzle.

In consultation with a range of stakeholders, from local authorities to property developers, the government has developed the 2025 Future Homes and Buildings Standards to elevate energy efficiency and heating requirements for the construction of new homes and non-domestic buildings in England. Their aim is to ensure that new buildings are ‘zero-carbon ready’ (i.e., no further work will be needed for them to produce zero carbon emissions once the electricity grid has been decarbonised).

The main requirements of the Future Homes Standard

The guidance provided sets minimum standards for individual elements of the building, such as walls and floors, and building services, such as heating and cooling. It stipulates improved insulation levels and low carbon heating and hot water systems, such as air source heat pumps (gas boilers won’t be compliant with the new standard). In addition, new homes will have to have a charging point installed for an EV (or at least provide the cabling to facilitate future installation), which is something that the Thrift team now retrofits in customer properties. Other recommended (but not mandatory) measures include allocating space for the installation of solar panels and setting up energy efficient ventilation systems.

The benefits for future new-build owners and residents

The government has said that it intends to publish the new regulations and associated guidance this year, with the standards coming into force in 2025. While some requirements are still to be finalised following the consultation (including whether or not solar PV panels will be made mandatory), we have a pretty good idea of what to expect when it comes to benefits for new home buyers.

As well as shrinking the carbon footprint of new buildings, these energy efficiency improvements will reduce household running costs, make homes more comfortable, and deliver significant health benefits, with damp and mould becoming less prevalent as a result of the energy efficiency and ventilation requirements. This is a big win, as exposure to mould is associated with respiratory illnesses and has shown to exacerbate allergies and asthma.

The options for owners and residents of existing buildings

While the Future Homes Standard is primarily focused on new residential and non-domestic buildings, residents and owners of existing houses can still make their own energy-efficiency improvements, drawing on support from government schemes such as the Home Upgrade Grant, or exploring funding streams and financing options with your installation provider.

As we look ahead to the implementation of the Future Homes Standard in 2025, it is clear that the landscape of new home construction is on the brink of a significant transformation aimed at reducing the UK’s carbon footprint and enhancing the quality of life for its residents. At Thrift Energy, where we believe everyone has a right to a comfortable, affordable, energy-efficient home, we look forward to seeing households across the UK benefit from these new and improved standards.

To find out more about energy saving solutions and the various finding opportunities that may be available to you, contact Thrift Energy today on 0800 689 3415. 

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