Electric vehicle charging points will be legally required in new build homes from next year, the prime minister Boris Johnson has announced.
The government said the move will see up to 145,000 charging points installed across the country each year.
New-build supermarkets, workplaces and buildings undergoing major renovations will also come under the new law.
The move comes as the UK aims to switch to electric cars, with new petrol and diesel cars sales banned from 2030.
The new initiative is set to be another part of the current government’s strategy to reduce emissions as part of a greater focus on green issues.
In a keynote address to business leaders at the CBI annual conference yesterday, Boris Johnson said that the UK will gain advantages from being first to change its economy and transition to net zero.
As well as new build properties having to provide charging ports, buildings which have “major renovations” will also be forced to make the upgrade as well.
Johnson said that new homes and buildings will be required to have EV charging points “thanks to these regulations”.
The government is investing in new projects to turn wind power into hydrogen with its net-zero strategy expected to trigger about £90bn of private sector investment.
Reacting to the announcement that new homes will be required to include electric vehicle charging points, Stuart Law, CEO of Assetz Group, said: “The built environment contributes around 40% of the UK’s total carbon footprint, so the housebuilding and property sectors have to act urgently if we are to meet our renewed national ambitions for halting climate change post-COP26.
“Studies estimate that lifetime emissions from electric cars are around 30% lower than petrol cars in the UK, rising to 70% in countries where the energy mix is predominantly skewed to renewables, and that, if every second car in the world was electric, this would reduce global carbon emissions by 1.5 gigatonnes. We need to make it as easy as possible for consumers to make the switch to electric vehicles and including charging points as standard in new builds is an easy win.
Many SMEs across the country are leading the charge in this regard, especially as they are often early adopters of modern methods of construction and factory-built housing which typically include EV points as standard, unlike traditional building methods.
“We also know that at present the roll of out EV facilities is skewed to London and the South East. SMEs are going to be essential to levelling this up across the UK, especially in more remote, rural areas which have become newly popular through the course of the pandemic as more and more people find they are less tied to traditional metropolitan employment centres. In this context the location-specific knowledge and expertise of local SME housebuilders will be essential to increasing levels of eco-friendly housing right across the UK, with EV points being just one tool in the effort to decarbonise.
“While this is welcome news from the government, we must look cumulatively at all the obligations we place on housebuilders to tackle carbon reduction and ensure that we provide the support the industry needs to ramp up its building efforts, while also improving environmental standards. This means simplifying the planning process, reducing regulation and crucially ensuring finance is available to fund these upgrades, especially with rising inflation exacerbating the impact of materials and labour shortages, all of which increases the cost of building new homes.
In the absence of appetite from traditional lenders in a challenging economic climate, the combination of government support and the expertise of specialist lenders will be essential to decarbonisation going forward”.