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Future Homes Standard Consultation - what does it say about heat pumps and solar PV?

Authored by Marco on December 19, 2023


Gas boilers, hybrid heat pumps and 'hydrogen-ready' boilers are out for new builds and heat pumps are in under the Future Homes Standard. The jury’s still out on Solar PV – have your say today. 

The long-awaited Future Homes and Buildings Standard consultation has been launched. This key piece of legislation will significantly alter how new homes are built from 2025 in accordance with the UK's legally binding target of net zero emissions by 2050. 

Homes built to the new standard will be 'zero carbon ready' – the emissions they produce will decrease as the grid decarbonises and no further work will be needed to reach net zero. 

Will gas boilers be allowed in new builds from 2025?

No. Gas boilers, ‘hydrogen-ready’ boilers and even hybrid heat pumps will not reach the required standards under the new Part L of the Building Regulations from 2025, paving the way for heat pumps to become the default new build heating source. 

This is great news for the heat pump sector, further supporting measures to increase deployment across the residential sector, securing the supply chain and building confidence in a technology that is often the subject of misinformation in the media.

Heat pumps are the future!

Griff Thomas, Managing Director of GTEC, says: 

"The Future Homes Standard makes it clear: heat pumps are the primary heating technology of the low-carbon future, whether individual systems for homes or to power heat networks. What we need to do now is rapidly increase the number of skilled and qualified heat pump engineers, ideally upskilling those with traditional plumbing and heating experience and transferring valuable skills to the low carbon workforce. After long delays, finally installers can be confident that, while gas is here to stay for a long time yet, there is a strong future for heat pumps."

Get trained up for the future. View our air source heat pump training course. 

What about Solar PV and battery storage?

The consultation sets out two options, one with solar PV and one without. The document notes that mandating solar PV makes a relatively small contribution to carbon savings compared with switching to a heat pump, considering the pace of grid decarbonisation, while recognising the important benefits of solar PV on household bills, energy security and grid resilience. 

Solar PV is a great addition to homes with heat pumps, helping to meet some of the energy demand with self-generated electricity, reducing heating costs for homeowners and relieving strain on the national grid. It will be a huge missed opportunity if solar PV is not mandated under the FHS, particularly as it is already well established in the new build market. 

Chris Hewett, Chief Executive of Solar Energy UK said: 

“Although we are pleased that the Government is minded to make solar energy effectively mandatory on new non-domestic buildings, it is shocking that not doing so for homes is even on the table. Almost two decades after the Zero Carbon Homes policy was put forward and eight years after it was scrapped, the Government again runs the risk of a massive own goal. Solar Energy UK will press vigorously for solar to be applied to newbuild housing – cutting bills, saving carbon and helping us all move towards net zero."

Meanwhile, the consultation suggests that electrical energy storage systems in new builds will need to be installed in accordance with the MCS battery installation standard, MIS 3012.

Train with the UK's specialist renewables training provider

Are you ready to join the ranks of low-carbon installers ready to deliver future-proof heating systems to new builds across the country? We deliver leading renewables training courses, including: 

The Future Homes and Buildings Standard consultation will run until 6 March 2024. You can read the consultation documents here and respond online


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