Last reviewed 4 March 2021

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has issued a circular letter informing building control bodies about how to meet nearly zero energy buildings requirements for new buildings.

Available at GOV.UK, this clarifies the implementation of the requirements for new buildings to meet regulation 25B of the Building Regulations 2010, which sets out that all new buildings should be nearly zero energy buildings from 31 December 2020.

The guidance in this circular letter applies to buildings and building work in England and excludes buildings owned and occupied by public authorities. For new buildings owned and occupied by public authorities, the coming-into-force date for Regulation 25B was 1 January 2019.

The letter explains that compliance with Regulation 25B requires meeting the Target Emission Rate required under Regulation 26 and undertaking an analysis of the technical, environmental and economic feasibility of using high-efficiency alternative systems.

These include decentralised energy supply systems based on energy from renewable sources, cogeneration, heat pumps and district or block heating or cooling, particularly where it is based entirely or partially on energy from renewable sources.

“Please note that the energy efficiency standards of the building regulations are currently under review,” the letter states. “We have consulted on a meaningful and achievable interim increase to the energy efficiency standards for new homes as a first step towards the Future Homes Standard.”

Details of this consultation can be found at GOV.UK/consultations.