According to the ministry, buildings in England and Wales currently emit 46% of national carbon dioxide emissions, amounting to 235m tonnes per year. Due to the slow turn-over of building stock it will take a long time for the new regulation to significantly cut this. Even with a one quarter efficiency gain for new buildings, the sector's overall emissions will still be cut by only 2% by 2010, the ministry admits.
Changes proposed in the new regulations include higher performance standards for insulation, improved standards for space heating and hot water systems controls, new standards for lighting and new performance standards for boilers, air conditioning and ventilation systems. More kinds of renovation of existing buildings will also be governed by the stricter rules.
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