New social housing being built in Bridgend, Wales

No more fossil fuels to heat new homes in Wales

New-build social housing homes in Wales can no longer install fossil fuels for heating with effect from 1 October 2021. The Welsh Government has committed to renewable energies and cutting edge technologies in its new-build standards, just published.

Homes will need to reach the highest energy efficiency standards to reduce carbon use during build and when inhabited, says the government, stating its ambition for private developers to adopt Welsh Development Quality Requirements 2021 – Creating Beautiful Homes and Places by 2025.

The new rules are part of the Welsh Government’s response to the climate emergency and commitment to drive down emissions to reach net zero carbon by 2050. Residential emissions make up 10 per cent of the nation’s carbon emissions.

Modern methods of construction, such as the use of timber and factory-built homes are also championed in the new guidelines, as well as requiring new properties to be ready for fibre optic broadband or gigabit wireless technology, and favouring good design and generous space.

Clarissa Corbisiero, director of Policy and External Affairs and deputy chief executive at Community Housing Cymru, says: “These new standards for social homes put Wales at the forefront of measures to ensure housing can play its full role in tackling the climate emergency. They will mean lower energy bills for tenants, as well as increased space and access to high-speed broadband.”

Mark Wilkins, Technologies and Training director at Vaillant UK, says the company applauds the government’s ambition. “We fully support the Welsh government’s Development Quality Requirements 2021 which bans fossil fuel boilers in new build social housing from October this year.

“We applaud the Welsh government in setting these standards and ambitions, following its commitment of £250 million to help build 20,000 low carbon homes for social rent by 2025. “The announcement comes in a timely manner alongside the UK’s Hydrogen Strategy, also announced this week. While hydrogen is one solution to decarbonise home heating, climate change is happening now: therefore, the UK needs to prepare for the hydrogen option of tomorrow while acting on today’s available solutions – heat pumps and heat networks. The new standard will encourage heat pumps into new-build social homes, which are efficient, green and cost-effective heating appliances that help tackle fuel poverty.”

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