Are heat pumps mandatory on new builds?

Are heat pumps mandatory on new builds?
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    January 2024

    You may have seen the headlines about gas boilers being banned from 2025. So what does that mean for existing and new build properties?

    As part of the government’s Future Homes Standard, natural gas boilers will be banned in new build homes from 2025. From then on, it will be a mandatory requirement to fit low-carbon heating systems in new buildings, like heat pumps. There are no requirements to place gas boilers in existing homes.

    Read on for more information on the gas boiler ban and why heat pumps are the first choice when it comes to replacing them.

    Air source heat pumps deliver significant carbon savings and can save you money on your energy bills. So why wait? Contact the experts at Cinergi for more advice about installing an air source heat pump in your home.

    What is the Future Homes standard?

    The Future Homes Standard, coming into effect in 2025, is a game-changer for UK housing. Designed to tackle climate change, it sets strict rules for new homes aimed at reducing carbon emissions by 75-80% compared to current standards.

    This means homes built after 2025 will be more energy-efficient, using minimal carbon for heating, hot water, and overall operation. Solutions include insulation and low-carbon heating systems like heat pumps.

    While existing homes won’t automatically have to meet these standards, self-builds, major renovations, or extensions will need to comply.

    What heating systems do new builds currently have?

    New build developers currently have a choice of heating systems, including modern gas boilers, electric heating, and biomass boilers.

    From 2025, the new building regulations state that heating systems which burn fossil fuels, i.e. oil, LPG and natural gas boilers, will be banned from new builds.

    What will replace these heating systems?

    In place of fuel-burning boilers, a lot of new build properties will likely have heat pumps from 2025. Ground and air source heat pumps have grown in popularity in recent years, thanks to better training and improved technology. They are also space efficient, require little maintenance, and can last up to 25 years, further increasing their appeal to homebuyers.

    How will this affect property developers?

    Property developers may face higher initial construction costs when the gas boiler ban comes into effect, as heat pumps are more expensive to install than traditional gas boilers.

    They may also need to adapt the footprint of new homes to accommodate low-carbon heating systems to ensure ample space. We may also see an increase in solar panels on new builds, as energy independence becomes more of a priority for buyers.

    Underfloor heating may also become more common in new properties, as the lower operating temperatures of underfloor systems align well with the efficiency of heat pumps.

    The government is gradually increasing energy efficiency requirements for new homes before the full standard kicks in, helping the construction industry prepare for the shift.

    In December 2023, a consultation was opened inviting interested parties, such as property developers, construction firms and local authorities, to have their say. It is still open at the time of writing (January 2024).

    On the positive side for developers, market demand for sustainable properties is on the rise. In 2022, research by Inside Housing suggested that 77% of home buyers would consider a greener home for their next move.

    How will this affect new home buyers?

    For home buyers, the gas boiler ban is good news. An air source heat pump offers far more energy efficiency than a fossil fuel heating system, meaning that buyers could save significantly on energy costs. Not to mention the appeal to environmentally conscious house buyers.

    The only word of caution is to ensure the right-sized heat pump is installed for the size of the property and your predicted energy use. Also, the installation should be undertaken by an expert with ongoing support and maintenance.

    What are the benefits of heat pumps for new build homes?

    Aside from the primary benefit, i.e. a significant reduction in carbon emissions, heat pump systems in new builds offer great benefits for homebuyers.

    Improved energy efficiency ratings

    Heat pumps work by transferring existing heat from the air or ground instead of generating it. This uses significantly less energy (up to four times the energy output for each unit of electricity used) and so can dramatically boost a home’s energy efficiency rating.

    The Future Homes Standard states that all new-build homes in England will be required to achieve a minimum energy efficiency rating of B by 2025. This translates to lower energy bills and a reduced carbon footprint, which makes these new, more sustainable properties attractive to homebuyers.

    Lower energy bills

    Buyers of new build properties from 2025 could benefit from lower energy bills over time if a heat pump is installed. For an idea of how much it can save, see the Energy Savings Trust website.

    Heat pumps also offer greater control over your energy costs and promote energy independence, especially when combined with solutions like solar panels and battery storage systems.

    Government incentives

    While newly built homes from 2025 will have low-carbon heating systems as standard, the government is offering incentives for existing homeowners to switch to energy-efficient systems.

    The Boiler Upgrade Scheme helps homeowners and small businesses in England and Wales by offering a grant of up to £7,500 to switch to eco-friendly heating like air source heat pumps. Your heat pump installer will apply for the grant if you are eligible. Check your eligibility for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme here.

    How can Cinergi help?

    Cinergi is a family-run business with over 40 years of experience in home and commercial heating systems. We are accredited heat pump installers serving Hampshire, West Sussex and Dorset.

    Heat pump installations require meticulous planning, in which we are highly experienced. We undertake thorough surveys and calculations to determine the right size of heat pump required, to ensure it runs at maximum efficiency and meets your heating and hot water needs.

    To find out more about how a ground or air source heat pump could cut your household carbon emissions and energy bills, get in touch.

    FAQs about the 2025 gas boiler ban

    Will self-builds require a heat pump system from 2025?

    If you are planning a self-build home after 2025, you will be required to comply with the new legislation, meaning that a fossil fuel boiler will not be an option.

    Depending on the size of the home and the surrounding land, an air or ground source heat pump could be the ideal solution. It’s wise to consult an expert on heat pump installations with the right accreditations, like Cinergi.

    Will air source heat pumps become the primary source of heat for new builds?

    Air source heat pumps are set to lead the way when the new build gas boiler ban takes effect in 2025. This is because they are more space efficient than ground source heat pumps and easier to run than biomass boilers. They also require little maintenance and can last up to 25 years in the right conditions.

    Dan Loveridge
    Dan Loveridge

    Dan is the managing director at Cinergi, a renewable energy company based in southern England specialising in air source heat pumps and EV charging solutions.

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