Changes to Part L of the Building Regulations have been delayed, it was announced last week.

The changes – which include new targets for fabric energy efficiency and improvement on 2010 standards – are now to be implemented in April 2014 instead of the original October 2013 target. The decision has largely been met with criticism, as the delay could potentially hamper efforts to achieve zero carbon for all new homes by 2016.

“The whole timescale for achieving zero carbon is in danger of being derailed by government delays and setbacks,” said John Sinfield, managing director of Knauf Insulation Northern Europe.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, similarly argued: “We support the idea that ‘zero carbon’ should be the end destination, but the timetable for achieving it must be realistic and deliverable. The overwhelming feeling is that policy is running well ahead of the industry’s ability to deliver on these commitments.”

In addition, the proposed changes show a reduction in targets. The energy-efficiency standards for new homes have been reduced to 6% above the 2010 regulations, compared to the 8% suggested in the original consultation in 2012. The requirements for non-domestic buildings have also been cut, from a maximum 20% target compared to 2010 standards, down to just 9%.