I wish to update the House on the publication of a consultation on changes to the Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 (SI2012/3118).
The United Kingdom has set in law a target to bring its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 to help tackle climate change. Heating and powering buildings currently accounts for 40% of the UK’s total energy usage. We must ensure that buildings are constructed to high standards of energy efficiency and that the regime for regulating the energy performance of buildings is robust.
This consultation seeks views on proposals to amend existing requirements for inspecting heating and air conditioning systems in order to improve the regime and contribute to carbon emission reductions and energy efficiency savings. The new requirements aim to strengthen the effectiveness of the regime by increasing the threshold for inspection to focus on larger systems. It further aims to improve the regime’s impact by broadening the scope of inspection to include combined heating and ventilation systems and combined air conditioning and ventilation systems.
The Government proposes to retain its domestic arrangements (i.e. take the option of Alternative Measures). This means continuing to provide consumers with the advice necessary to make informed decisions on the energy efficiency of their heating systems and widening the scope to include combined heating and ventilation systems. The United Kingdom boiler market is the biggest in the world and has some of the most experienced manufacturers and installers. The United Kingdom’s equivalence reports, which are required to demonstrate that the domestic policy achieves the aims intended by the changes to the regulations, have demonstrated that the carbon savings attributable to the UK’s Alternative Measures were greater than those that would have been achieved through inspection. One of the key elements of the domestic regime is Boiler Plus whose standards are expected to help reduce carbon emissions by up to 2 MtCO2e in Carbon Budget 4 (2023-2027) and 3.2 MtCO2e in Carbon Budget 5 (2028-2032), whilst enabling consumers to heat homes at a lower cost.
The consultation also proposes to amend the inspection regime for air conditioning systems increasing the threshold and widening the scope to include combined air conditioning and ventilation systems, bringing with it the benefits of a stronger regime set out above.
These measures are only part of our journey towards a cleaner, greener built environment. The Government is determined that we will be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we found it and improving the energy performance of our buildings will be a key factor in tackling climate change, achieving clean growth and safeguarding our planet for the future.
This Written Ministerial Statement covers England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in relation to the inspection of heating systems. It covers England and Wales in respect of the proposed changes to air conditioning inspections. The devolved administrations are considering similar changes.
The consultation document can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/energy-performance-of-buildings-changes-to-the-energy-performance-of-buildings-regulations-2012-no-3118
I am depositing a copy of the consultation in libraries of both the House of Commons and House of Lords.
 A metric measure used to compare the emissions from different greenhouse gases based upon their global warming potential (GWP).
 4th carbon budget (2023 to 2027) 1,950 MtCO2e
 5th carbon budget (2028 to 2032)1,725 MtCO2e
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: