Plan to make energy efficiency improvements compulsory when extending homes has been scrapped

The government has scrapped proposals that would have forced homeowners building extensions to improve the energy efficiency of the rest of their property.

The draft consultation on the 2010 Part L of the Building Regulations, launched by housing minister John Healey, was supposed to include measures for 'consequential improvements' in existing homes. This would have meant that homeowners who substantially altered their properties through refurbishment or add extensions, would have to take reasonable, cost-effective steps to making their homes more energy efficient.

However, it is understood that these measures were removed at the last minute.

David Strong, chief executive of Inbuilt, said: “To not even consult on this beggars belief. On the one hand you've got Ed Miliband committing the government to reducing carbon emissions by 80% together with the recent consultation on the existing stock saying how important it is to reduce emissions from existing buildings if the government is going to hit its targets. Yet they have decided not to consult on the single most important measure that could help them to do this”.

He added: “I think the reason they have dropped it is we are leading up to an election and the question is would it pass the Daily Mail test”.

The launch of the Part L consultation document comes on the same day that the government outlined its five-point plan on how the UK can reduce carbon emissions.

For more on Part L read Andrew Warren's column