MSP calls for new-build homes to be made energy efficient

Alex Rowley wants all new-build homes to be constructed to retain heat from the sun.

MSP calls for new-build homes to be made energy efficient iStock

A Labour MSP wants to change the law to require all new houses built in Scotland to meet stringent energy efficiency standards.

Alex Rowley is to consult on plans for a member’s Bill which would see all new-build homes required to meet the internationally recognised “Passivhaus” standard.

Such properties are so well constructed, insulated and ventilated that they retain heat from the sun and the activities of those inside them, requiring very little heating to be used.

Rowley said making this mandatory for new homes would help “future proof” properties.

He also argued specialist new jobs could be created in the construction of such homes.

In Scotland, Kingdom Housing Association has secured planning permission to build 30 homes near Dundee to Passivhaus standards, while 15 affordable homes have been approved for a site in the Trossachs National Park at Drymen.

However, Rowley wants such standards to be applied to all new homes in the future.

The Labour MSP revealed his plans during the COP26 climate summit, which is taking place in Glasgow, saying: “We are experiencing a perfect storm where Scotland has not met its greenhouse gas emissions targets and the rise in gas prices is expected to plunge another 150,000 Scots into fuel poverty.

“Delay and dither will further exacerbate the climate crisis and leave too many of our fellow citizens struggling to heat their homes.”

He added: “My proposal is a straightforward one. We should ensure that we future proof all new-build homes by constructing them to the highest possible energy efficiency standards.

“Adopting the Passivhaus standard for all new housing would not only deliver better housing and improved energy efficiency, it would also create new skilled jobs and economic benefit.”

Rowley stated: “The Scottish Parliament has the power to do so, we should get on and do it. I hope there will be cross-party support for this bill.”

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