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EPC ratings to become more important under Green reforms

The government has given more details of its bid to change the energy efficiency of existing and new homes to meet Net Zero targets.

In a 131 page document released by HM Treasury, the government says: “The overall ambition is to improve as many homes as possible to Energy Performance Certificate band C by 2035.”

This puts more emphasis on an EPC rating as a specific target than in most previous guidelines from government.

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As has been already publicised, much of its hopes lie on the acceptance by the public of heat pumps to replace the predominant fossil fuel domestic appliance now - the gas boiler. 

The Treasury document continues: “The government’s Ten Point Plan aims to increase heat pump installation to 600,000 annually by 2028 and improve the energy efficiency of homes. The Heat and Buildings Strategy sets out the government’s aim to phase out the installation of new and replacement natural gas boilers by 2035.”

Elsewhere, the document says: “Households’ exposure to housing decarbonisation will depend on a number of factors, including dwelling size and dwelling type. For example, larger houses are more likely to face higher costs. 

"Households living in social housing may be less exposed to costs as social housing is on average already much better insulated, with 62 per cent of dwellings already having wall insulation, compared to just 32 per cent of privately rented dwellings …

“...The government is also working with industry to halve the upfront cost of new technology, such as heat pumps, by 2025, and achieve parity with fossil fuel boilers by 2030.”

The government pledges that no-one will be forced to remove their existing fossil fuel boilers, but instead it hopes to see a gradual transition to low-carbon heating systems over the next 14 years

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says: “As we clean up the way we heat our homes over the next decade, we are backing our brilliant innovators to make clean technology like heat pumps as cheap to buy and run as gas boilers – supporting thousands of green jobs.

“Our new grants will help homeowners make the switch sooner, without costing them extra, so that going green is the better choice when their boiler needs an upgrade.

“The Heat and Buildings Strategy sets out how we are taking ‘no-regrets’ action now, particularly on heat pumps, whilst supporting ongoing trials and other research and innovation on our future heating systems, including on hydrogen. 

“We will make a decision on the potential role for hydrogen in heating buildings by 2026, by learning from our Hydrogen Village pilot. Heat pump technology will play a key role in all scenarios, so for those who want to install them now, we are supporting them to do so.”

You can see the government's full Net Zero policy document here.

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