Siambr, Welsh Assembly, C. Welsh Government
Wales has issued new building standards. Credit: Welsh government

Wales bans fossil fuel heating systems for social homes

Julia Hatmaker

It’s a no-go for gas heating in social housing schemes submitted after 1 October according to the Welsh government’s new building standards.

The “Welsh Development Quality Requirements 2021 – Creating Beautiful Homes and Places” document calls for homes to meet a high energy efficiency standard, which means not using fossil fuels for heating. As part of the new rules, developers will be asked to re-examine how they handle recycling and food waste storage as well.

The standards also mandate that new housing be ready to have fibre-optic broadband or gigabit wireless technology. The rules say that infrastructure to enable this future installation of connectivity utilities will have to be provided if it is not already in place.

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

The standards are part of Wales’s £250m commitment to build 20,000 low-carbon homes for rent over the next five years.

“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,” James said.

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