Government makes moves for even more sustainable homes

The Government is to strengthen the Code for Sustainable Homes to address climate change. The announcement coincided with the approval of the new Building Regulations by ministers last month before it was laid before Parliament to come into effect on 6 April. The code is being strengthened to increase environmental sustainability and give home owners better information about the running costs of their homes. Energy-efficiency ratings are to be made mandatory for both new and existing homes. The ratings will be included in energy-performance certificates set out to EU standards. Minimum standards of efficiency for the use of energy and water will be set for every level of the code, rather than allowing builders to trade different kinds of improvements against one another. The lowest levels of the code will be raised above the level of mandatory Building Regulations. To promote the use of on-site energy generation, new homes that use micro-renewable technology such as wind turbines and solar panels will gain extra points in the code. Yvette Cooper, Housing & Planning Minister, said, ‘Strengthening the code gives us the chance to promote high standards for new buildings on top of the 40% reduction in emissions since 2002 from this April We need new homes for the next generation, but we need to make sure they are environmentally sustainable too.’ Elliot Morley, Minister for Climate Change & Environment, says, ‘Reducing emissions through energy efficiency is a crucial part of tackling climate change. I strongly welcome the measures being announced, the strengthening of the code and the work in progress.

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