A survey of MPs has found that almost seven in ten would support a mandate for new-build homes in the UK to be fitted with solar panels and electric vehicle charging points from 2025 – edie.net reports.
The survey was undertaken ahead of debates regarding the Future Homes Standard. The Standard, which will come into effect in 2025, will set new requirements for developers to reduce the operational emissions of homes by improving energy efficiency and including some clean technologies as standard.
The survey was taken by 98 MPs, representative of the entire cohort at Parliament in terms of political party, gender and region. It revealed strong support for Lucas’ proposal. Seven in ten (69%) of the MPs surveyed said they would support a mandate for solar panels on new-build homes, while 13% said they would oppose this. Support was lower among Conservative MPs (64%) than Labour MPs (75%) but was still significant.
Why does it matter?
The construction industry is responsible for a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions globally. In the United Kingdom, the government is taking action to reduce carbon emissions from new homes by mandating the installation of solar panels and electric vehicle (EV) charging points in all new builds from 2025. This mandate is part of the government’s plan to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. In this article, we will explore the benefits of this mandate and its potential impact on the environment and the economy.
Reducing carbon emissions
The most significant benefit of mandating solar panels and EV charging points in new builds is the reduction of carbon emissions. Solar panels generate renewable energy from the sun, reducing the reliance on non-renewable sources like coal and natural gas. This can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of a building by reducing the amount of energy required from traditional power sources. According to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), solar panels can reduce a building’s carbon emissions by up to 1 tonne per year. This is a significant amount considering that the average carbon footprint of a UK household is around 10 tonnes per year.
The installation of EV charging points in new builds can also significantly reduce carbon emissions. The transportation sector is responsible for a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions globally. In the UK, transportation accounts for approximately 27% of carbon emissions. By installing EV charging points in new builds, the government is encouraging the use of electric vehicles, which are significantly more environmentally friendly than traditional petrol and diesel vehicles. Electric vehicles emit significantly fewer greenhouse gases than their petrol and diesel counterparts, reducing the carbon footprint of the transportation sector. According to BEIS, electric vehicles can reduce carbon emissions by up to 1.5 tonnes per year.
Lowering energy bills
Another benefit of mandating solar panels in new builds is the potential to lower energy bills for homeowners. Solar panels generate electricity from the sun, which can significantly reduce the amount of energy required from traditional power sources. This can lower energy bills for homeowners, especially in sunny areas where solar panels can generate a significant amount of electricity. According to the Solar Trade Association, a typical 4 kWp solar panel system can save homeowners up to £200 per year on energy bills.
The installation of EV charging points in new builds can also provide cost savings for homeowners. The cost of electricity to power an electric vehicle is significantly lower than the cost of petrol or diesel. According to the AA, it costs around £7-8 to charge an electric vehicle to travel 100 miles, compared to around £14-16 for a petrol or diesel vehicle. This can result in significant cost savings for homeowners who use electric vehicles for transportation.
Creating jobs and boosting the economy
The installation of solar panels and EV charging points in new builds can also create jobs and boost the economy. The renewable energy sector is a growing industry, with significant potential for job creation. According to the Renewable Energy Association, the UK renewable energy sector employed approximately 128,000 people in 2020, with significant potential for growth in the coming years. The installation of solar panels and EV charging points in new builds can create jobs in the construction, engineering, and renewable energy sectors, supporting economic growth.
In conclusion, mandating the installation of solar panels and EV charging points in new builds from 2025 has significant benefits for the environment, homeowners, and the economy. By reducing carbon emissions, lowering energy bills, and creating jobs, this mandate can help the UK achieve its goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 while supporting economic growth. As the renewable energy sector continues to grow, it is likely that the installation of solar panels and EV charging points in new builds will become increasingly common, leading to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future.