The final version of Part L of the Building Regulations is published after months of delay.

The government has released the final version of a new energy standard less than a month before it is due to come into force.

Part L of the Building Regulations is due to come into effect on April 6. It will include tougher energy efficiency standards and mandatory pressure testing in an effort to improve compliance with regulations.

The new regulation requires around a 20% improvement in the energy performance of buildings over existing 2002 Part L regulation.

The government has been heavily criticised in its handling of the revision of Part L. Industry complained that government did not publish a full version of the regulation at an early enough stage. The draft approved document published in September 2005 was missing 21 reference documents, including vital documents on new calculation methods.

Following Building's campaign to reform the regulations, the government said last week that energy regulations would be more predictable in future. Housing and planning minister Yvette Cooper said that the Code for Sustainable Buildings would flag up the direction of future building regulations. Cooper also announced that it would be looking at methods of increasing the sustainability of existing homes.

Cooper said: "Alongside making new homes more sustainable we are also looking at further measures to improve the sustainability of existing homes and new planning guidance to further promote micro-generation and tackle climate change."

The final approved document for Part F of the Building Regulations was published yesterday and will come into force on the same day a Part L.