solar panels on roof

Solar should be mandatory on all new homes

Lucy Dixon
Head of Content

There are fresh calls for solar PV to be mandatory on newbuild homes.

With fuel prices at record highs, Solar Energy UK has analysed the impact solar PV could make on the energy bills of households across the country and says solar power should be compulsory in Building Regs (for Scotland and Wales) and the Future Homes Standard (for England). The report states:

With PV and a battery storage system, a mid-terrace compliant with the Future Homes Standard 2025 would save around £40,000 over their lifetime, compared to an identical dwelling with no energy efficiency enhancements or low carbon technologies. The precise figure depends on whether gas, direct electric, heat pump or infrared heating is deployed. Either way, dramatic reductions in carbon emissions would be achieved, ranging from 65-85% beyond the baseline.

Conservative MP John Stevenson has called for exactly the same thing, proposing an amendment to the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill to include mandatory solar on new homes – and as Gareth Simkins said on Twitter, it has an “impressive list of supporters”.

In a blog for Conservative Home Stevenson said:

For individual households, it would clearly lead to lower energy bills. But also from the country’s perspective, it would reduce the amount of extra electricity needed to supply other houses. If we are truly serious about our ambitions to have a net zero economy by 2050, it is quite clear that policies such as this are going to be essential.

Solar PV’s role in decarbonising housing was also the topic of a recent elemental webinar, with the expert panel discussing how solar PV can be combined with battery storage and other low-carbon technologies to maximise efficiencies for households. The speakers for this session were Councillor Keith Williams, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Finance and Commercialisation; Patrick Berry, Programme Director, Together Housing; and Andrew Waggott, Head of Energy Services, Portsmouth City Council.

Talking about the work being done in Portsmouth, Andrew Waggott said:

In an individual home the savings are about £400, as a bare minimum, for most installs we do. Once you add a battery on to that, you’re looking at another 50% saving on the energy bill. This has a significant impact on social housing tenants.

Keith Williams added:

The case for solar is really compelling now with the increase in electricity costs. The challenge we’ve got is educating people to get the most from it, because the payback period from a council’s perspective can be as little as six years if people are maximising the benefit.

To watch this session on demand, visit our Crowdcast channel: crowdcast.io/e/solar-pvs-role-in

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