With the UK government aiming for net zero carbon emission by 2050 they have committed to 300,000 new build homes each year until 2025 to reach this target. Currently, existing properties are responsible for 16% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions so the new builds in design today must be compatible with the net zero targets, but what makes them more energy efficient?
Building Methods and Materials
Many new homes use timber frames as part of the construction process which has the lowest carbon cost of any commercially available building material. Between the frames, thick thermal insulation is placed which stops heat from escaping and makes the house more energy efficient and reduces energy bills and running costs.
Double-glazing comes as standard in all new build homes. These windows ensure that heat is not lost while also capturing heat and retaining it during the winter months which keeps your house warmer without the need for heating, saving you money on bills. Double-glazed windows are also much harder to break than single-glazed alternatives which increase the security of your home.
Building innovations and technological developments mean that running costs for new builds can be more than 50% cheaper than older properties with savings of almost £400 on energy bills. By 2025, gas boilers will be banned in all new homes meaning that the alternative will be low-carbon systems such as electric heat pumps.
There are two main types of heat pumps, air source and ground source, the main difference being where the pump draws energy from. The running costs of heat pumps are much lower compared with off-grid fuels and direct electric heating which saves you money and generate far fewer carbon emissions due to using natural energy sources.
The majority of new build homes will have modern appliances with better energy efficiency ratings which can save you money while also being better for the environment. For example, rather than a gas hob, you will likely find an induction hob which is 44% more energy-efficient than a gas hob. Gas hobs lose a lot of heat generated around the sides of the pans and result in a warmer kitchen which you then may need to cool down with fans or ventilation.
As of June 2022, all new build homes are required to have an electric vehicle charging point, with the aim to make the transition into EV vehicles as smooth as possible.
Although electricity prices are increasing, home charging will remain cheaper than charging elsewhere and be more accessible than roadside, on-demand charging points. Having an EV charge point at home will mean that you can charge overnight, resulting in the greatest cost savings due to charging during off-peak times.