Government criticised after admitting there was ‘very little’ evidence for claim that Part L changes will boost Green Deal

The government has admitted it has no up-to-date information on which to base its claim that changes to the Building Regulations will drive uptake of the flagship Green Deal.

Last week the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) proposed changes to Part L of the Building Regulations, which would make it compulsory for building owners to upgrade the energy efficiency of their buildings as a consequence of making other improvements.

Launching the policy, communities minister Andrew Stunell said it would boost uptake of the Green Deal. But industry experts challenged this, saying loopholes in the regulations and lax building controls would likely lead to widespread avoidance.

Speaking at a conference on the proposed changes at the BRE this week Paul DeCort, leader of the Part L team at the DCLG, admitted the department had “very little” research on likely rates of compliance. This is despite non-domestic buildings being subject to a consequential improvements provision since 2006.

Andrew Warren, director of the Association for the Conservation of Energy, said it was “negligent” of the government not to have modelled likely compliance. “How do we know that consequential improvements are going to be delivered?” he said.

Sustainability consultant David Strong said: “It’s shocking that the government has not undertaken any research.”

According to the impact assessment of the policy, the Part L changes, to be introduced from October 2012, will cost business £103m a year.