Majority of MPs back mandatory solar for newbuild

Houses with solar PV panels on roof
Image © Shutterstock

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

A poll commissioned by The MCS Foundation found that 9% of all MPs, and 83% of Labour MPs, agree that solar panels should be incorporated into all new-builds from 2025.

The government’s Future Homes Standard consultation is considering proposals for regulations 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.

In the same poll, 61% of 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.

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 says that the poll shows clear support for solar power and battery storage and 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, 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.