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Part L revisions do not go far enough

The government has finally announced the changes to Part L of the building regulations more than a year after consultation on the proposals closed. Plans to implement the changes in 2013 were dropped in the summer causing the government to come under fire, following fears that a further delay could prevent the UK achieving zero-carbon goals on homes.

For new-build domestic properties, the new Part L requires just a 6 per cent reduction in carbon emissions, well below the 8 per cent laid out in 2010 plans. r For non-domestic properties the reduction is 9 per cent. The new regulations are now scheduled to come into play in April 2014, rather than October 2013 as originally planned. It is claimed that the new timescale would give everyone in the industry enough time to prepare for the changes.

According to the Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG), the new regulations will save 6.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, savings around £16 million per year for business.

Described as a 'step towards our zero carbon ambitions' in a statement issued by the House of Lords, many of us in the building services industry are left disappointed by the latest news, which has been widely criticised industry for failing to help stimulate the renewable technology marketplace with such token increases.

John Alker, director of Policy and Communications at UK-GBC, remained positive but criticised the delayed announcement: "There can be no excuses for the length of time this has taken, but finally the industry has the clarity on Part L that it craves.

"The uplift is less ambitious than any of the options originally consulted upon - even less than government's previously 'preferred options', particularly for non-domestic buildings. However, the fact there is any uplift at all is good news - it's a victory for all those who know that industry can continue to innovate, to improve standards and reduce carbon cost-effectively."


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