Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to our Members and friends!

If only similar upbeat messages had been conveyed in the government’s pre-Christmas twin announcements on new homes!  Regrettably we are deeply disappointed by both the Future Homes Standard consultation announcement and the written ministerial statement (WMS) on Local Authority planning for energy standards, and will be drafting our own detailed responses as well as a pan-industry collective view early in 2024.

Despite GHA supporting enhanced energy efficiency as part of new homes standards, and  the Climate Change Committee’s call for FHS to incorporate world-leading energy efficiency for energy demand reduction, DLUHC has chosen to consult on the least ambitious example specifications (set out in the FHH Ready for Zero report) which amount to negligible change from current 2021 building regulations and a lessening of ambition even over their own draft FHS specification from 2021!

Alongside that, the WMS unequivocally denies local authority ambitions to set their own energy efficiency standards – despite several LAs’ success in preparing for and adopting higher standards in Local Plans as part of their declared response to the climate emergency, which GHA has been supporting with case studies and practical guidance.

Whilst there are some helpful clarifications in the FHS consultation such as the expectation that gas, hybrid and hydrogen-ready boilers will not comply in the new Home Energy Model, plus moves to further analyse the  performance gap in new home energy performance, we believe an approach which relies principally on a decarbonised grid for the successful adoption of all-electric systems to meet our net zero commitment is flawed,  is vulnerable to shortfalls in energy capacity, and still exposes some residents to high energy bills.

At the Good Homes Alliance we have developed and accumulated evidence of better quality places and homes which deliver on resilience in the face of our climate emergency and in the face of these announcements we intend to set out our vision, fully utilising the power of progressive policy, with planning and building standards appropriate to the urgency of delivering on the UK’s Net Zero commitments.

A Statement from our Chair

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