Minister says new Part L regulations will encourage Green Deal take-up

The government plans to force building owners to install energy efficiency improvements when they are doing other work to their homes under proposed revisions to the building regulations published today.

The Department for Communities and Local Government’s draft revision to Part L of the building regulations, which covers energy efficiency measures, said people would be required to make energy efficiency improvements to their property as a consequence of other building works.

The requirement to make improvements would be triggered even when making small improvements, such as replacing a boiler or more than 50% of the windows in the property, the consultation said.

Communities minister Andrew Stunell said the proposals would boost the roll out of the Green Deal - the government’s flagship energy efficiency programme - later this year by stimulating demand.

He said: “The Coalition is committed to being the greenest government ever, so improving the energy efficiency of our existing buildings through the Green Deal, and ensuring that all new homes are zero carbon by 2016 is a top priority.”

The consultation said consequential improvements to the property would need to cost around 10% of the value of the primary works to meet the regulations requirements.

However, it also said that owners would not be forced to undertake energy efficiency improvement work that was not cost effective and therefore not included under the Green Deal, which is set up to ensure the works result in savings on energy bills even after the cost of the work is accounted for.

Plus, when the requirement is triggered from a boiler or window replacement improvements would be limited to installing loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, hot water cylinder insulation or draught proofing, the consultation said.

The proposed changes would be phased in from October, when the Green Deal is launched.

The requirement to make improvements when increasing space would apply from October but the requirement to make improvements when changing a boiler or windows would not apply until April 2014.