The Welsh Government has set out proposals that would lead to all new homes in Wales being heated and powered only from clean energy sources from 2025.
The consultation proposals unveiled by Housing Minister, Julie James, are part of wider Welsh Government plans to address the climate emergency it declared last year.
Later this year, Ministers will bring forward legislation to adopt a 95 percent greenhouse gas reduction target, with an ambition to reach net zero in future.
Housing contributes significantly to climate change: new and existing homes currently account for 9 percent of Welsh greenhouse gas emissions.
Buildings will need to operate at close to zero emissions by 2050 if Wales is to meet its climate targets. This will require a substantial change in how buildings are heated and powered in future.
The amount of energy used in buildings will have to be significantly lower, while the remaining energy demand will need to be delivered through low carbon and renewable sources.
To address this, the Welsh Government is proposing the introduction of tough new standards on new homes, to be implemented in stages over the next five years.
When the new building standards are implemented in full in 2025, homes should produce 75-80 percent less CO2 emissions than ones built to current requirements.
The proposals focus on improved energy efficiency, phasing out high-carbon fossil fuels and improving air quality.
Housing Minister, Julie James said: “New and existing housing contribute about a fifth of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. If we are to meet our ambitious target of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 95 percent by 2050, we need to take action now to make a significant step change to the way we heat and power our homes.
“The new homes being built today will exist in 2050. Therefore, we must ensure the standards we set for these homes put us on the right path. This involves improving energy efficiency and moving to cleaner ways to heat our homes.
“The proposed consultation, for implementation over the next five years, makes a strong and meaningful contribution to reducing the carbon and energy impact of new homes, while recognising our ambition needs to be balanced against the desire for standards to be cost-effective, affordable and practical.
“These measures will not only help tackle climate change, but they will also help keep down household energy costs now and in the future - helping people, no matter what their background or circumstances, with the cost of living.”
The consultation on the new proposals closes on the 12 March 2020.
This article is based on a press release from the Welsh Government.