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Publish date

17 June 2024

The Future Homes Standard – where are we in June 2024?

What is the Future Homes Standard

The Government has committed to reducing carbon emissions to zero by the year 2050. In the UK, both new and existing homes account for around 20% of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.  The aim of the Future Homes Standard is to contribute towards the Government’s carbon emissions target by reducing current CO2 emissions in residential and non-domestic buildings by 75-80% and also reduce high energy bills as much as possible.

Timeline – What has the Government done so far?

  • In January 2021 the Government published The Future Buildings Standard consultation document. Following this in December 2021 new Part O of the Building Regulations was introduced in order to reduce the risk of overheating in new residential buildings. Parts L (conservation of fuel and power) and F (ventilation) were also updated
  • On 13 December 2023, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities moved forward the second stage of their action and published The Future Homes and Buildings Standard:2023 Consultation which sets out the Government’s proposals for achieving the Future Homes Standard (FHS) and Future Buildings Standard (FBS) to decarbonise new buildings in England and bring about necessary changes to Building Regulations. This consultation closed at the end of March this year but the results have not yet been published
  • It is anticipated that the legislation necessary to implement the two new standards (FHS and FBS ) will be laid in 2024, and come into force at some point in 2025 following a transitional period. Although it remains to be seen whether the calling of the general election will impact the proposed timetable.

How will CO2 emissions be reduced?

  • The Future Homes Standard will require homes and non-domestic buildings to be ‘zero carbon ready’. This means they will be zero carbon once the electricity grid has been decarbonised.  As of 2025, it will be mandatory for CO2 emissions to be at least 75% lower in new homes than those built to current Building Regulations standards.

A zero carbon ready building is considered highly energy efficient and either uses renewable energy directly, or uses an energy supply that will be fully decarbonised by 2050.

  • Boilers powered by fossil fuels will be prohibited by 2025. The Government considers that this should be done by installing heat pumps and heat networks in homes and non-domestic buildings which will improve heating and hot water systems, as well as reducing heat waste
  • Solar power panels are not required on all new homes. However, it appears non- domestic properties may be required to have them
  • The proposals also deal with other factors that cause buildings not to be energy efficient, such as ventilation and lighting. A lot of these factors were already addressed in the Building Regulations Part L and F uplifts, but it appears there is still more that can be done.

This is a considerable step up in energy efficiency standards compared to the level currently required by Building Regulations.

A zero carbon ready future

Many large developers have invested heavily in ensuring that the homes they now build are as carbon neutral as possible. Therefore, it is anticipated that new buildings will not struggle to conform to the changes proposed. The larger issue is the conversion of buildings to new homes.

We await to see what the results of the current consultation will be as it was anticipated that legislation would be laid this year. Even with a general election looming it seems clear that a new Government will want to move towards a carbon neutral future.

If you have any questions about this article then please do get in touch via your usual contact or emailing

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