Publicly funded homes will be built to new EcoHomes standard until Code for Sustainable Homes is introduced.
The government is to delay the introduction of the Code for Sustainable Homes. The code was to be applied to publicly funded homes from April to raise sustainable performance. It won't now be introduced until later in the year.
During the interim period, homes receiving funding from the Housing Corporation or English Partnerships will have to build to a new version of EcoHomes standard.
In today's statement the government said that the Code would merge into EcoHomes before the end of the year.
The government also announced that the Code would include minimum standards for water use and energy for each of the five levels of performance in the Code. Developers will not be able to trade off different types of improvement against each other.
From April 1, publicly funded homes must meet the EcoHomes Very Good standard, which is equivalent to the level three of the Code. The new EcoHomes standards are published today.
Alongside making new homes more sustainable we are also looking at further measures to improve sustainability of existing homes.
Housing and planning minister Yvette Cooper
Housing and planning minister Yvette Cooper said: "Alongside making new homes more sustainable we are also looking at further measures to improve sustainability of existing homes and new planning guidance to further promote micro-renewable technology and tackle climate change."
The government also announced that the lowest level of the Code would be higher than mandatory building regulations standards, and that the Code would form the basis of the next wave of building regulations.
Housebuilders using renewable energy systems will gain "Code" points, which will improve the rating of their homes.
The government said it was looking at other ways of encouraging uptake of the Code in the private sector. It said incentives in the planning system were being considered.
- Part L of the building regulations were approved by Ministers toady. The energy regulatoin is due to come into force next Month.