Minister sets date for implementation of new building energy efficiency standards


On Friday, Finance Minister Conor Murphy announced that changes to building regulations, requiring new buildings to be up to 40% more energy efficient, will applied from 30 June 2022.

The new statutory guidance published is in Technical Booklets F1 (Conservation of fuel and power in dwellings) and F2 (Conservation of fuel and power in buildings other than dwellings) of the Building Regulations. In relation to energy efficiency, it requires a 40% betterment for new houses, and 25% for new flats and 15% for new buildings other than dwellings.

Following an EU directive, regulations were introduced in Northern Ireland in 2014 specifying that all new buildings were to be Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) by 31 December 2020. These changes in guidance, which will be applied from the end of June, now finally reflect those regulations and are intended as an interim step on the journey towards net-zero carbon buildings.

RSUA has already been liaising with relevant staff from Building Control Northern Ireland regarding further information and training around how these changes will be implemented and managed.

RSUA has been campaigning for these changes to take place since 2019. In February, an appeal was sent to the Chair of the Committee of Finance asking them not to delay the implementation of this new guidance. Alongside this, RSUA called for a protocol to fast-track changes to planning permissions, financial support for housing associations to meet additional costs and government support for upskilling across the sector. We will continue to advocate for these supportive measures as the new NZEB standards are brought in.

Information on the changes, including the revised Technical Booklets, can be found here.