Industry call on government to freeze energy performance targets until new testing standard has been developed

Housebuilders have called for the government to drop its proposed upgrade to energy efficiency regulations, as the industry works out how well existing homes are performing.

In a submission to the government’s Part L consultation, which concluded last month, the Home Builders’ Federation (HBF) said the government should scrap the proposed 2013 increase in the energy performance of new build homes.

The submission, backed by housing association lobby group the National Housing Federation (NHF), also asked the government to drop its proposed “quality assurance” method of testing.

In January the government proposed that housebuilders accredited in the quality assurance method PAS increase the energy performance of new homes in 2013 by an average of 8%. Those not accredited would be expected to upgrade it by 11% more than 2010 regulations.

The HBF’s letter, which described PAS as “ineffective” and “costly”, echoed the response to the consultation made by a collection of contractors, engineers and developers including Arup, Laing O’Rourke and Derwent London.

The HBF went further, saying that any performance increases should be put on hold while a more valid performance assessment was created. But, it added, it remained committed to moving to zero carbon in 2016.

The HBF is under pressure from members over the issue, with Linden Homes publicly proposing that housebuilders be asked to put up to £5,000 per home in a fund to pay for energy improvements in existing homes rather than face further regulation increases.

Ian Baker, Linden managing director, said: “We want to work with the government to agree a joint solution that satisfies everyone and has long-lasting benefits for the environment.”