The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has launched a set of proposals on changes to the Building Regulations regime, which could boost the uptake of Green Deal measures. Under the new requirements, building owners carrying out extensions or conversions could be forced to add energy efficiency improvements worth 10 percent of the value of the improvements.

The new regulations, announced by Communities Minister Andrew Stunell, are expected to work towards the UK’s carbon emissions targets, and pave the way for the introduction of zero-carbon homes from 2016.

When these amendments come into force in 2013, more energy-efficient homes will typically save householders over £150 a year on energy bills compared with homes being built in May 2010. Businesses are expected to save over £63 million a year by avoiding red-tape.

“A quarter of the carbon emissions produced each year come from our homes, so it is vital we get to grips with energy efficiency to tackle this problem. Making our homes more sustainable will also keep people warm, drive down bills and support jobs in the construction industry,” explained Stunell.

“The Coalition is committed to being the greenest government ever, so improving the energy efficiency of our existing buildings through the Green Deal, and ensuring that all new homes are zero carbon by 2016 is a top priority.

“But we need to do this in a way that doesn't add to the regulatory burden on businesses. So I'm delighted that these much-needed changes will provide guidance that is both fit for purpose and will cut carbon emissions, whilst also saving money for householders and businesses alike.”

The DCLG estimates there are ~200,000 extensions per year, 1.4 million boilers replacements and 1 million window replacements, all of which could form a significant demand driver for the Green Deal. 

The Department is now looking for views and evidence on the proposed regulations and will continue working with industry and other key partners before finalising proposals.

The consultation opens today and responses can be provided up until April 27, 2012. Government will consider the responses and aim for new building regulations to come into force in 2013, although some changes might be brought in earlier to support the Green Deal framework.

Want to hear more about the implementation of the Green Deal? Join us at the Solar Power UK Roadshow: Coping with the Cuts. Book you place here.