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Renewable installer numbers concern after Welsh fossil fuel ban

The use of fossil fuels in newly built social homes in Wales will end from October 1st, it has been announced.

Energy efficiency rating

The Welsh Government has unveiled its ‘Welsh Development Quality Requirements 2021 – Creating Beautiful Homes and Places’ standards which it hopes private developers will adopt by 2025.

As part of the standards, homes will need to reach the highest energy efficiency standards to reduce carbon use during build and when inhabited.

The new rules feature as part of the Welsh Government’s response to the climate emergency and bid to drive down emissions to reach the ‘net zero carbon by 2050’ goal. In Wales, residential emissions make up 10% of all carbon emissions.

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.

More renewable installers required to deliver solutions

Mark Wilkins, technologies and training director at Vaillant UK comments on the announcement: “We fully support the Welsh government’s Development Quality Requirements 2021 which bans fossil fuel boilers in new build social housing from October this year. The Welsh government has also set an ambition for private developers to adopt the same standards by 2025.

“We applaud the Welsh government in setting these standards and ambitions, following its commitment of £250 million to help build 20,000 low carbon homes for social rent by 2025. The announcement comes in a timely manner alongside the UK’s hydrogen strategy also announced this week. Whilst hydrogen is one solution to decarbonise home heating, climate change is happening now therefore, the UK needs to prepare for the hydrogen option of tomorrow whilst acting on today’s available solutions: heat pumps and heat networks. The new standard will encourage heat pumps into new build social homes which are efficient, green and cost-effective heating appliances that help tackle fuel poverty.

“It is a concern that there is a lack of heat pump installers across the entire of the UK but with courses being developed by the industry and heating manufactures, installers and contractors should feel encouraged and confident to upskill themselves to fit heat pumps.”