From next year, all homes for sale will have to advertise their energy efficiency ratings under new European Union legislation.
At the moment homeowners must commission an energy performance certificate (EPC) before putting a property on the market, but the results do not have to be available before viewings start. From 2012 the EU Directive will make it compulsory for the ratings to be published upfront.
The legislation will effectively put a green, amber or red energy efficiency grading on every For Sale board in the UK. It will also help the government to deliver its plans of reducing household carbon emissions by 29% by 2020.
Householders and potential house sellers are being encouraged to start making homes more energy efficient as a result.
The Energy Saving Trust recently said that the majority of the UK’s least energy-efficient homes could be brought up to near-average green standards for less than £3,000; older homes needing major modernisation, including a new central heating system, would need at least £5,000 to bring them into line.
The government’s proposed “green deal” scheme, to be detailed this autumn, is expected to offer loans of up to £6,500 for home energy efficiency improvements repayable, over 20 years or more, out of savings on fuel bills.