The UK government recently revealed plans to improve the energy performance of new homes. In the announcement on 19 January, Hosing Minister Chris Pincher said that the aim is for all new builds to be: “…highly energy efficient, with low carbon heating and be zero carbon ready by 2025.”
The goal is for these properties to reduce carbon emissions by 75-80%, compared with the levels we’re currently seeing. However, to reach this target in the next four years, there is already a tight deadline set for 2021, with new homes expected to produce 31% lower emissions.
With a few years left to meet the goals set, there is plenty of work to do. So, how will it be done?
What is green housing?
To reduce carbon emissions and make homes more eco-friendly, green housing is something that we’re likely to see more of. This form of architecture could help to meet the targets set out by the government.
It is designed with the environment in mind. Buildings are made from environmentally friendly materials, and production of these materials is not harmful to nature. For instance, earth compressed blocks and bricks replace traditional bricks and are used in interior walls to offer insulation.
Another major consideration with green housing is the position of the sun. Once built, green houses continue to have green credentials, with solar panels usually playing a huge role in helping to generate electricity. Therefore, placing panels where they are exposed to maximum sunlight is essential.
Heat pumps are also common in green homes. These provide environmentally friendly heating options thanks to their ability to offer low energy consumption. They also remove our dependence on fossil fuels such as oil and gas as they don’t require gas pipes or oil tanks.
The Green Homes Grant
To encourage homeowners to make changes to their properties that are likely to reduce emissions, the government introduced the Green Homes Grant. This is a contribution from the government towards the cost of installing energy efficient improvements around the home.
While the recent announcement focuses on making new properties green, this grant applies to older properties. This gives people a chance to make updates, such as adding solar panels and changing over to low-carbon heating and the grant covers up to £5,000 towards these changes.
It’s worth noting that if you’ve bought a new build and you’ll be the first to live there, the grant doesn’t apply. However, the pressure is on for developers to make these new builds eco-efficient.
For those in established properties, they can get to calling in the professionals to make changes to their property. Although many of us have taken up DIY in the last year, it’s best to use the skills of a registered trade professional, not only will they have the skill level and tools to complete the job, it will also ensure your receive the grant.
With the new targets to make homes greener in place, the clock’s ticking. What updates will you make to your property to make it eco-friendly?