Defra consults on home energy label

'Energy labels' could become an obligatory part of the package when a property is sold, following a consultation launched on Thursday.

Energy Performance Certificates, which rate the energy efficiency of buildings, will be part of the Home Information Packs the Government wants to introduce in June. HIPs are also to advise house-buyers on ways of saving energy and cutting carbon emissions from their new homes.

Defra hopes that by providing consumers with more information it will help drive the housing market in a more sustainable direction and help cut energy waste.

There are also proposals to fund improvements recommended in Energy Performance Certificates through green mortgages – something Defra is currently discussing with the financial services industry.

Launching the consultation, communities secretary Ruth Kelly said: “This is an important opportunity to improve the buying and selling process for consumers.

“We want to promote a greener housing market for consumers and Energy Performance Certificates can play a key part in this. By providing more information on the energy efficiency of homes, we can help consumers make more informed choices about the homes they buy and their impact on climate change.”

Housing minister Yvette Cooper said: “Most people have no idea about things like the lagging in the loft when they buy a new home.

“But this will tell people how they can save money on their fuel bills and cut their carbon emissions at the same time. The trials have also shown we need to tackle the unfair postcode lottery in searches which can cause homebuyers all kinds of costs and delays.”

Goska Romanowicz

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