New measures 'will cut fuel bills'

BuildingNew standards to save energy on new-build homes will save households an average of £200 a year on fuel bills, the Government said.

The measures, which come into force next April, will require new homes and non-domestic buildings to have energy saving features including better insulation and more efficient heating and lighting, ministers said.
It is estimated the measures will save £200 from the fuel bill for a newly built semi-detached house compared to houses built to pre-2010 standards, while large businesses could save more than £60,000 a year.

The small increase in construction costs would be heavily outweighed by the energy savings made after homes and business properties had been built, creating a £384 million net saving for households and companies.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) said the new measures would mean a 6% cut in carbon emissions for new build homes, and a 9% cut in emissions from non-domestic buildings, with 6.4 million tonnes saved.

And they would mean the Government is on track to meet commitments to make homes "zero-carbon" from 2016, the department said.

Communities Minister Don Foster said: "At a time when energy costs are rising and everyone is watching their wallet these measures mean anyone buying a new home knows it will be built to tough new energy standards to drive down their fuel bills.

"Businesses will also benefit with new rules to make buildings such as offices, shops, warehouses and pubs more energy efficient."

The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) welcomed clarity for industry on the measures, but said construction firms were still waiting for details and criticised the length of time it had taken to set out the new rules.

John Alker, director of policy and communications at the UK-GBC said: "The uplift is less ambitious than any of the options originally consulted upon - even less than Government's previously 'preferred options', particularly for non-domestic buildings. However, the fact there is any uplift at all is good news - it's a victory for all those who know that industry can continue to innovate, to improve standards and reduce carbon cost-effectively."
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