Consultation on proposals relating to Building Control approval for new buildings containing fossil fuel heating systems

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Closes 12 May 2023


The Climate Change Plan 2022-2027 contains an action to bring forward the ban on fossil fuel heating systems in new builds from January 2025 to 2024, an action that will support the reduction of emission targets over the next five years and beyond. 

To transition towards the ban on fossil fuel boilers it is proposed to refuse Building Control approval on applications for new buildings containing a fossil fuel heating system from 1 August 2023.

These proposals would result in a 62% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to installing fossil fuel boilers in new homes and would avoid up to 15,000 tonnes of ‘locked in’ CO2 emissions.

This consultation seeks your views on the detailed proposals.


From 1st January 2025, the Climate Change Act 2021 makes it illegal to install fossil fuel heating systems into any new buildings. This means that, even if you have building control approval that proposes a fossil fuel heating system, you will not be permitted to install that heating system in a new building and you will need to  make an amendment to your building control application to accommodate a non-fossil fuel system.

Further, if the alternative heating system is for a ground or air source heat pump, you will need to submit a fresh planning application to include that ground or air source heat pump.

Over the last decade, an average of 210 new homes have been built per year on the Isle of Man. The average lifespan of a gas or oil boiler is around 15 years – every new installation ‘locks-in’ emissions for the lifespan of the heating system. The proposed changes could avoid future emissions of around 15,000 tCO2e* - equivalent to taking over 2000 cars off the road.

*For more information on the potential emissions savings from these proposals please see supporting document ‘Emissions

The Isle of Man Economic Strategy seeks to increase population by 15,000 by 2037. If we are to stay on track for net zero by 2050 and our interim targets, it is essential that homes built to accommodate these additional members of our community are low emission and high energy efficiency.

The Isle of Man Climate Change Plan 2022-2027, approved by Tynwald in October 2022, contains the action:

‘2.2 Bring forward the ban on fossil fuel heating systems in new builds to 2024’

By stopping Building Control approvals for plans containing fossil fuel heating systems in new buildings in 2023, ahead of the 2025 ban, we will significantly reduce installations during 2024.

The proposed changes

We wish to give industry as much time as possible to prepare for this transition whilst acknowledging that many in the industry are already delivering new builds with energy efficient, low carbon heating options.

We also understand that the development and construction industries operate with long planning and lead-in times.

For this reason, instead of bringing forward the date when installation becomes an offence to 2024, we are proposing to refuse approvals on new Building Control applications, containing fossil fuel heating systems in new buildings, from 1 August 2023.

Starting to refuse new applications ahead of 2024 will reduce the number of installations during 2024.

We are also proposing an exception for developments that have already obtained planning permission, so that those developments can still obtain Building Control approval after 1 August 2023, even if their application contains a fossil fuel heating system, and do not have to resubmit their planning application.

However, the 1 January 2025 ban will still apply to those Building Control approvals so the applicant/developer must ensure that installation of the fossil fuel heating system is complete before that date. If it is not, they will need to make an amendment to their application with a different heating system.

All approved plans will remain valid until 1 January 2025, as is currently the case.

The proposed changes will only apply to new applications that are made after 1 August 2023.

What is a fossil fuel heating system?

Part of the proposals is to define what is – and is not – a fossil fuel heating system. This will define what will – and will not – affected by the 2025 ban and the proposed changes set out in this consultation. Section 3 of the survey sets out the proposed definition in detail.

Key Proposals Explained: New Buildings and Extensions

Plans for a new building submitted to Building Control from 1 August 2023 that contain fossil fuel heating systems will be refused unless planning permission has already been obtained.

This will mean an increase in the installation of low carbon heating systems, such as air source heat pumps, in new buildings, in the Isle of Man, ahead of the 2025 ban and therefore a decrease in ‘locked-in’ emissions from fossil fuel heating systems.

The proposal would affect plans submitted for ALL NEW BUILDINGS (both domestic and non-domestic). An extension is a ‘new building’, so plans would be refused if a fossil fuel heating system is to be installed in an extension (i.e. if the boiler, oil tank or gas supply will be located in the new extension).

This will not apply to plans submitted for:

  • replacement fossil fuel heating systems in existing buildings;
  • pipework and/or radiators connecting a new extension to an existing fossil fuel heating system.
  • new buildings which have obtained planning approval prior to 1 August 2023