Future Homes Standard: kicking the can down the road on sustainability

Will Bown, Managing Director of SuperFOIL, responds to the government’s proposed Future Homes Standard.

For those of us hoping the Future Homes Standard would reverse the government’s recent trend of backtracking on sustainability, this week’s announcement was bitterly disappointing.

On December 13th, ministers unveiled their proposals for the much-anticipated legislation. It made for depressing reading.

With no increase in either the required U-Values or building fabric standards for new homes, the government has clearly abandoned ‘fabric first’.

Rather than focusing on increasing energy efficiency, it’s hoping that a combination of heat pumps, greener electricity and solar panels will yield the carbon reductions they desire.

In other words – homes will continue to be leaky and inefficient, but the energy we’re wasting will at least be green.

We needed bold, radical measures to help make the country’s housing stock fit for a net zero future – instead, the new minimum requirements are actually lower than many houses are made to already.

With one eye on next year’s election, the government has clearly kicked the can down the road. If the country is going to meet its net zero obligations, I strongly suspect the Future Homes Standard will be revisited before long.

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