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Green Homes: The Future of Housing in the UK

  • November 18, 2023
  • 2 min read
Green Homes: The Future of Housing in the UK

Green Homes: The Future of Housing in the UK

As a nation we are becoming more environmentally conscious. Electric cars are on the rise while single-use plastics are declining. This trend also continues with housing as many are taking into consideration when moving. Research has shown that many are prioritising the energy performance of new homes.

All buildings in the country are the second highest carbon emissions contributors with residential properties making up a significant proportion of this. However, the UK’s home builders are taking action to create more green homes powered by less energy to help cut down the nation’s carbon footprint as well as saving money. 

Zoopla’s Watt a Save July 2023 report, finds that the average new-build consumes 55% less energy, cutting bills by £135 a month and reducing carbon emissions by 60%. This is despite new-builds often being bigger than older properties.

With 247,000 new-builds given an EPC in the year to the 31st of March 2023, we see that last year’s new-build homeowners helped cut emissions by 500,000 tonnes collectively compared to if they had been built to the same standards as the average older property.

New houses have offered a cheaper and more environmentally friendly option for the running of homes. They are designed with improved energy efficiency in mind all the way through to the construction thanks to modern building practices, technology, and materials. Today, there are more rigorous building standards than ever before.

Changes last year to building regulations were introduced to set standards specifically related to the energy performance of buildings. Zoopla’s research finds that homes built to these standards will emit 71% less carbon than the average older property. And that’s not the end of it.

In 2025, the Future Homes Standard is due to come into force requiring new homes to cut emissions by an additional 75-80% over current building regulations. This can be achieved in part by moving away from gas boilers to modern heat systems including heat pumps. Homes built from 2023 onwards will emit 29% of the carbon of an average existing property and those built from 2025 will emit just a tenth.

Assuming that housing delivery levels in 2025 are the same as current levels, under the changes, new homes will see carbon emissions cut by a further 270,000 tonnes a year.

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