The Future Homes Standard – our consultation response

11 February 2020

The government has started consulting on a new Future Homes Standard. Read our response to the first of two consultations.

The government has committed to the introduction of a Future Homes Standard, which requires a considerable step-up in the energy efficiency standards of new homes.

Our sector is fully committed to making sure that quality, sustainability and long-term value are at the heart of constructing new homes, and that maintenance and asset management functions operate with a meaningful and lasting focus on residents.

We therefore welcome the Future Homes Standard, and look forward to engaging with the government and its stakeholders as it develops these proposals.

What this consultation proposed

The Future Homes Standard, which will be introduced by 2025, will require new build homes to be future-proofed with low carbon heating and world-leading levels of energy efficiency.

This consultation is the first stage of a two-part consultation about the Future Homes Standard and the changes required to building regulations. It covers:

  • changes to conservation of fuel and power for new homes (Building Regulations Part L) in 2020 as a stepping stone to the Future Homes Standard
  • the wider impact of these changes, such as the need to update ventilation (Building Regulations Part F)
  • consideration of airtightness and improving as-built performance of the constructed homes.

The full consultation document is available on the government’s website.

Our sector response

Our consultation response was written in collaboration with our members and is based on feedback from a wide range of housing associations. Key feedback included was:

  • An agreement that proposals for uplifting Part L standards and a Future Homes Standard do not currently go far enough to meet the reduction in emissions required to achieve net zero emissions in 2050.
  • Support for a fabric-first approach to the development of new Part L and Future Homes standards to minimise future longer-term maintenance and service charge costs, and the need to retrofit relatively new homes.
  • Advocacy for the levelling up of existing local standards to help build sector capacity, skills, expertise and supply chains.
  • Support for striking a balance between a higher uplift in Part L standards in 2020 and a longer transition period to increase clarity and preparation but minimise future retrofit requirements.
  • Support for sharing the Future Homes Standard requirements as soon as practicable to maximise clarity, guidance and support.
  • A commitment to work in partnership with residents to recognise the impact of proposed changes on their lives and homes.

You can read our full 32-page response by downloading our consultation document.

Next steps

Once the government has considered the responses to this consultation, it intends to publish the second part of Future Home Standard consultations in 2020, covering:

  • overheating in new dwellings
  • energy efficiency standards for:
    • work carried out in existing dwellings
    • new buildings other than dwellings
    • work to existing buildings other than dwellings.

If you have any questions about this consultation, or our work on quality, climate and sustainability, please contact Amy Simmons below.