Homeowners who have to replace a broken boiler could be required to carry out energy-saving work such as installing loft insulation, under government proposals.
The government acknowledges that replacing a broken-down boiler is a 'distress purchase' but proposes homeowners should use “the opportunity” to improve the rest of the building.
A range of home improvements would trigger a requirement for "consequential" energy efficiency measures, if they were deemed "technically, functionally or economically feasible", under Building Regulation changes outlined in a consultation document this week.
Anyone increasing the "habitable space" in their home – for example through a loft conversion or an extension – could have to install energy saving measures worth 10 per cent of the cost of the improvement, under part of the proposals that could come into effect by October.
The measures could include new windows or solid wall insulation, which the government says would help to offset carbon emissions likely to be caused by the new extension.
Installing a new boiler or choosing to replace windows – measures which in themselves improve energy efficiency – could also lead to a requirement to take out further lower-cost efficiency measures such as loft or cavity wall insulation, or draft-proofing. This part of the proposals could come into effect from April 2014.
The government acknowledges that replacing a broken-down boiler is a “distress purchase” made out of necessity rather than choice but proposes homeowners should use “the opportunity” to improve the rest of the building, saving disruption at a later date and cutting heating costs.
New-build homes or those which already have energy efficiency measures are unlikely to be affected because further improvements would not be feasible, according to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) consultation document.
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