Housing minister to update Code for Sustainable Homes in line with latest zero-carbon policy

The government is to overhaul the Code for Sustainable Homes to bring it in line with next year's changes to Part L of the Building Regulations as well as the 2016 definition of zero carbon.

The consultation was launched by housing and planning minister John Healey, who also pledged to make the code easier for consumers to grade the sustainability of their properties.

The most significant changes are within the energy section of the code, however the consultation also puts forward proposals to change the credits in areas such as Lifetime Homes, home security, surface water run-off and waste as well as setting out issues for further investigation in the future.

The communities department is also seeking views on the energy efficiency definition to be incorporated into the definition of zero-carbon homes from 2016 and whether it should be introduced into Building Regulations at an intermediate level from 2013.

Announcing the consultation Healey, said: “The code has proved its worth, but now is the time to make it a more user-friendly standard for consumers. In the future, this will help drive uptake so people will save more money on bills and reduce the carbon footprint of new homes.

Neil Jefferson, chief executive of the Zero Carbon Hub, said: “Industry needs the code to be more practical and flexible and this consultation, along with the revised definition of zero carbon, is a positive sign that the government understands this need. However, to make low and zero-carbon homes achievable and cost-effective from 2016, the code must continue to evolve to keep pace with the rate of industry change and knowledge.”

The communities department aims to publish the updated code by next summer ready to come into force in October 2010, alongside the revised Part L of the Building Regulations.