Letter from Secretary for Housing on building standards

I received the following as a paper letter on 27th November from Kit Malthouse, MP for Hampshire North West.  The letter was written to him by James Brokenshire, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

“Thank you for your email of 26 October on behalf of your constituent (***), about new housing standards and planning.

“I am aware of the Passivhaus standard, and that it goes beyond the standards set through the Building Regulations.  The Government remains fully committed to meeting its climate change targets and recognises the important contribution that the energy efficiency of buildings have to make in meeting these targets.  However, we must ensure that this is done in a way that recognises the long-term challenge the UK faces to substantially increase housing supply.

“The Building Regulations set minimum energy performance standards for new homes and non-domestic buildings.  They are deliberately couched in performance terms and do not prescribe the technologies, materials or fuels to be used, allowing builders the flexibility to innovate and select the most practical and cost-effective solutions in particular circumstances.  Such an approach also allows for new and innovative techniques to be adopted, which in due course may then become more widespread.

“The energy standard for new homes has been increased by over 30% since 2010 reducing energy bills by £200 per annum on average and saving carbon.  To meet the progressively demanding standards, builders will find they increasingly need to add more insulation, better glazing, more efficient heating and lighting and also renewable energy systems.  We are planning to consult in 2019 on an uplift to these energy efficiency standards, including an uplift for new homes where safe, practical, cost-effective, and affordable.”

(Unfortunately my original letter to Kit Malthouse was via a protest website and has not been preserved.)