The Government’s response to the recent Part L Future Homes Consultation published on January 19 has been welcomed by two key industry roleplayers.
Mark Wilkins training and technologies director at Vaillant said: “Vaillant welcomes the long-awaited response to the UK Government’s Future Homes Standard consultation, and we’re particularly pleased to see the interim Part L uplift in June 2022 that seeks to produce 31% less CO2 emissions compared to current standards. Although the existing housing stock is diverse and will therefore require different types of low carbon solutions, there is no better time to build zero-carbon ready homes. But the Government’s timescales of further consultation in 2023, legislation in 2024 and implementation in 2025 leave very little time for the industry to find the best recipe for zero-carbon ready homes.
“It’s encouraging that local authorities will retain the power to set energy efficiency standards for their planned new homes. However, we need to ensure that all those living in private and local authority new homes have the lowest possible fuel bills both now and in the future, we therefore welcome the fabric first approach to reduce heating demands.
“Considering the recent 10-point plan and Energy White Paper recommending accelerating the use of hydrogen in heating, we would expect hydrogen emission factors to be available within future versions of SAP as early as possible. This would encourage the industry to model the deployment of new build hydrogen towns in the future. We also call for the gas infrastructure to be included in new build developments to give the consumer the choice between electric and hydrogen heating in the future. Furthermore, future proofing all homes with low carbon, low temperature heating systems sets the foundations for savings, but there needs to be a heat source agnostic approach for new build and existing homes and the focus should be on a 50oC mean water temperature which will guarantee a robust design and life time savings.”
• Kensa Group chief executive Simon Lomax, Lomax said: “We generally support the response which makes clear that heat pumps are expected to become the default heating choice at new build dwellings from 2025.
“We also welcome the continued opportunity for local authorities to specify planning conditions which mandate energy efficiency upgrades which are more demanding than mere compliance with the emerging regulations.”
Based in Cornwall, Kensa has developed some solutions for the residential new build sector based upon the ultra-small Shoebox ground source heat pump which can be paired with a traditional cylinder or a heat battery. In most cases, the Shoebox is served by a shared ground array, thereby mimicking the system architecture in a traditional gas boiler arrangement.
According to Mr Lomax: 'A ground source heat pump provides the lowest carbon solution as the technology is far more efficient than an air source heat pump, particularly on the coldest days. The Achilles heel has always been the added cost of the array. Thankfully, we can now remove that cost from the housebuilder as there are many entities who will fund the underground architecture in return for a standing charge paid by the householder. A ground source heat pump now costs no more than an air source heat pump.'
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