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MPs overwhelmingly back mandatory solar panels for newbuild homes

MCS Foundation + Solar Energy UK 
15 February 2024

Eight in ten MPs (79%) support making solar panels mandatory for all new-build homes, according to a new YouGov poll released yesterday.

The Government is consulting on proposals for regulations for newbuild homes that will come into force in 2025, with two options – one to mandate solar panels for all new homes, and one to not mandate them.

According to the YouGov poll, 79% of all MPs, and 83% of Labour MPs, agree that solar panels should be incorporated into all new-builds from 2025.

Three in five (61%) MPs believe that battery storage, which can maximise the gains from solar panels, should be mandatory in new homes as well. That figure rises to 77% for Labour MPs.

The poll comes as the Government is considering crucial new regulations that will set standards for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and carbon reduction under the Future Homes Standard. The Future Homes Standard is due to come into force from next year.[1]

Campaigners say the new regulations present a key opportunity to boost renewable energy in the UK and lock in low energy bills for homeowners. The MCS Foundation, which commissioned the YouGov poll, say that MPs’ clear support for solar power and battery storage shows a recognition that the future lies in homes that can generate their own clean energy.

David Cowdrey, Director of External Affairs at the MCS Foundation, said, “When it comes to constructing modern homes that are climate-friendly and cheap to run, building-in solar panels, batteries for energy storage, and heat pumps from the start is very clearly the way to go.

“It is very encouraging that such a clear majority of MPs back the principle of renewable energy for all new homes. The Government now has a mandate to require a meaningful deployment of solar panels as well as battery storage on new-builds under the Future Homes Standard, and it must enact that as soon as possible.”

Chris Hewett, Chief Executive of the Solar Energy UK trade association, said: “Everyone wins from making solar power effectively mandatory for new housing. It means lower bills for newbuild homeowners and greater energy security for us all, plus progress towards net zero, through cutting reliance on pricey natural gas. The policy would save newbuild homeowners between £910 to £2,120 per year, according to the Government consultation, while pushing purchase prices up only marginally.”

The MCS Foundation is advocating that all new homes should have a meaningful deployment of solar panels, with a suggested consultation response that can be filled in easily here.

The Government’s current plans for the Future Homes Standard would effectively ban fossil fuel and so-called hydrogen ready boilers, making heat pumps or low-carbon heat networks the default instead.

[1] Solar panels set to be standard on new homes and buildings

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Editor’s notes:

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 107 MPs. Fieldwork was undertaken between 4th – 26th January 2024.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative.

79% of all surveyed MPs, including 73% of Conservative and 83% of Labour MPs, believe solar panels should incorporated into all new builds by 2025. agree with this. 17% of all surveyed MPs neither agree nor disagree, and just 4% disagree.

61% of surveyed MPs, including 47% of Conservative MPs and 77% of Labour, agree that battery storage systems should be incorporated into all new builds by 2025.

56% of surveyed MPs, including 43% of Conservatives and 72% of Labour MPs, agree that heat pumps should incorporated into all new builds by 2025. 27% neither agreed nor disagreed, and 17% disagreed.

The Government’s plans for the Future Homes Standard, currently out for consultation, state there is “no practical way to allow the installation of fossil fuel boilers while also delivering significant carbon savings and ‘zero-carbon ready’ homes. As such, we do not expect fossil fuel heating, such as gas, hybrid heat pumps or hydrogen-ready boilers, will meet these standards.”  With fossil fuel heating being effectively banned, efficient and cheap-to-run heat pumps or low-carbon heat networks will be the default heating source for all new homes. The Government’s proposals state: “All performance requirements are based on notional buildings with an efficient air source heat pump or a 4th generation heat network that uses air source heat pumps. We considered other types of widely commercially available electric heating, such as direct electric and immersion heaters. While these achieve the goal of being ‘zero-carbon ready’ they can be more expensive to run than modern heat pumps, pushing up bills for households.”

For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Gareth Simkins, Senior Communications Adviser, Solar Energy UK |

Jamie Osborn, Communications and Media Manager, MCS Foundation