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Welsh Government: No more fossil fuels to heat new social homes

Rhiw Cefn Gwlad, Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr (Image: Welsh Government)

The Welsh Government has said that it will end the use of fossil fuels to heat newly built social homes from 1 October.

The "ambition" is for private developers to adopt the ‘Welsh Development Quality Requirements 2021 - Creating Beautiful Homes and Places’, by 2025.

The Welsh Government said that homes will need to reach the "highest energy efficiency standards to reduce carbon use during build and when inhabited. As well as sector leading space standards".

Developers will also need to consider recycling and food waste storage under the new rules.

Cymru currently ranks number three on the world recycling leader board, but the Welsh Government has said that it is "striving for a zero waste future".

The move underpins the Welsh Government’s commitment to build "20,000 high quality, low carbon homes for rent" over the next five years.

The Welsh Government said that the new rules are "significant" to its response to the climate emergency and commitment to drive down emissions to reach its "net zero goals."

In Cymru, residential emissions make up 10% of all carbon emissions.

Beyond low carbon targets, the standards also require new properties to be "gigabit ready", meaning fibre optic broadband or gigabit wireless technology is available, alongside a choice of internet service providers. Where this currently isn’t in place, infrastructure to enable future installation without disruption must be provided.

The Welsh Government said that the changes are "particularly timely following the pandemic", as more people have transitioned to work from home.

The new standards also "favour good design and generous space" so that people can "live well within their homes".

Minister for Climate Change Julie James said: “Our new ‘Creating Beautiful Homes and Places’ building standards show the bold and immediate action we are taking in responding to the climate emergency. How we live and heat our homes over the coming years will be pivotal in reaching our net zero goals.

“Curbing the worst impacts of climate change is a matter of social justice, but so is ensuring people have access to internet in their homes, and enough space to live well. These standards ensure all of these targets are met as they reflect our modern ways of living and changing lifestyle needs.

“Making use of innovative construction methods and design, I have every confidence the social housing sector will prove themselves trailblazers of the ambitious standards, as they deliver on our pledge to build 20,000 low carbon homes for rent over the next five years.”

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