The option to use fossil fuels to heat new social housing projects will end from 1 October, the Welsh Government has announced.

The new Welsh Development Quality Requirements 2021 Creating Beautiful Homes and Places guidelines state new homes must meet energy and decarbonisation requirements that include alternatives to fossil fuel fired boilers to provide domestic hot water and space heating.

The standard will be applied in full to all publicly-funded affordable housing schemes submitted to Welsh Government at 'concept' stage for technical scrutiny from 1 October 2021, and the ambition is for private developers to adopt the standards by 2025.

Minister for Climate Change Julie James said: "Our new ‘Creating Beautiful Homes and Places’ building standards show the bold and immediate action we are taking in responding to the climate emergency. How we live and heat our homes over the coming years will be pivotal in reaching our net-zero goals.

"Making use of innovative construction methods and design, I have every confidence the social housing sector will prove themselves trailblazers of the ambitious standards, as they deliver on our pledge to build 20,000 low carbon homes for rent over the next five years."

Mark Wilkins, Technologies and Training Director at Vaillant UK, said: “We fully support the Welsh government’s Development Quality Requirements 2021 which bans fossil fuel boilers in new build social housing from October this year. The Welsh government has also set an ambition for private developers to adopt the same standards by 2025.

“We applaud the Welsh government in setting these standards and ambitions, following its commitment of £250 million to help build 20,000 low carbon homes for social rent by 2025. The announcement comes in a timely manner alongside the UK’s hydrogen strategy also announced this week. While hydrogen is one solution to decarbonise home heating, climate change is happening now therefore, the UK needs to prepare for the hydrogen option of tomorrow while acting on today’s available solutions: heat pumps and heat networks.

"The new standard will encourage heat pumps into new build social homes which are efficient, green and cost-effective heating appliances that help tackle fuel poverty."