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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 June 2006, 04:05 GMT 05:05 UK
Homes to be energy-saving rated
Derelict house
The new packs will give houses an energy efficiency rating
Every house sold in England and Wales will be given an energy efficiency rating like those found on electrical goods, the government will announce.

The Energy Performance Certificate will be part of the new Home Information Packs being introduced next June.

The reports, prepared by an independent inspector, will give houses an A to G rating, with A being the best.

They will show energy efficiency and the impact of a house on the environment in terms of carbon dioxide.

You can get this kind of consumer information on fridges and washing machines so why not on a home?
Yvette Cooper

Homes use about a third of the UK's total energy requirements and scientists say that must be reduced significantly to help avoid climate change.

Housing minister Yvette Cooper said that, as well as helping buyers and sellers to cut carbon emissions, it would also help them to cut bills.

"Given the growing challenge from climate change and rising energy costs, I think people should be entitled to this kind of information about the home they buy," she said.

"You can get this kind of consumer information on fridges and washing machines so why not on a home where the emissions - and the savings - are so much greater?"

What the energy surveyors will look for

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