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Welsh Government Moves Against Fossil Fuels for New Welsh Homes

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The use of fossil fuels to heat newly built social homes will end from October 1st as Welsh Government commits to renewable energies and cutting edge technologies in its new build standards, published today.
The ambition is for private developers to adopt the ‘Welsh Development Quality Requirements 2021 – Creating Beautiful Homes and Places’, by 2025.

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 need to consider recycling and food waste storage under the new rules. Wales currently ranks number three on the world recycling leader board, but is striving for a zero waste future.

This bold move underpins the Welsh Government’s commitment to build 20,000 high quality, low carbon homes for rent over the next five years. Social housing built with Welsh Government funding will ‘trailblaze’ the new standards.

The new rules are significant to Welsh Government’s response to the climate emergency and commitment to drive down emissions to reach the ambitious ‘net zero carbon by 2050’ goal. In Wales, residential emissions make up 10 per cent 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.

These changes are particularly timely following the pandemic, which saw much of the country needing to learn and work from home, as they recognise a future of flexible working.

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

This is not only aimed to boost wellbeing and keep communities together, but to respond to the changing needs of residents, such as ample floor space to ensure adaptations for older and disabled people can be facilitated.

Modern methods of construction, such as the use of timber and factory built homes are also championed in the new guidelines.