The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government response to written question: passive houses

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question:

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps the Department is taking to promote the building of (a) passive houses and (b) eco-homes. (291109)

Esther McVey:

The Department is committed to increasing the energy efficiency of new homes.

The main way the Department seeks to do this is through Building Regulations. These set minimum requirements for the energy efficiency of new buildings and for work on existing buildings.

In the government’s Clean Growth Strategy we committed to reviewing these standards, including consulting on improving energy efficiency requirements in new and existing homes where the evidence suggests it is cost effective, affordable, practical and safe to do so.

To that end, the government has announced that this consultation is now open. This includes the proposed introduction of a Future Homes Standard by 2025 for new build homes to be future-proofed with low carbon heating and world-leading levels of energy efficiency. We propose that new homes built to this standard should have 75-80 per cent fewer CO2 emissions than ones built to current building regulations standards.

The National Planning Policy Framework also expects local planning authorities to take account of how new development will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as through its location, orientation and design. Planning practice guidance provides advice for local authorities and applicants on implementing these policies.

The Department does recognise and support innovation and excellence in design. For example, the Minister of State for Housing recently visited the Goldsmith Street development in Norwich, which is built to the PassivHaus standard. At the Housing Design Awards, Goldsmith Street was the chosen Supreme Winner and winner of the Good Neighbour Award, a new category sponsored by MHCLG and agreed by the previous Housing Minister