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From June next year, all homes in England and Wales must be given an energy efficiency rating before they can be sold. The government says the move, which is in line with European agreements, will help the UK reduce its carbon emissions.

The Energy Performance Certificate will form part of the Home Information Packs, to be introduced next year. Inspectors will evaluate the current and potential energy efficiency of each home, giving a rating from A to G. The report will also list measures the home owner could undertake to improve the rating.

Housing Minister Yvette Cooper said that people should be entitled to have information on energy costs before buying a home, drawing a parallel with the energy ratings available for various white goods such as fridges and boilers.

"By providing people with sound advice on how to improve energy efficiency this will help sellers and buyers who want to do their bit to cut carbon emissions as well as cutting their fuel bills too," she said.

According to The World Wildlife Fund, British homes account from 27 per cent of the country's CO2 emissions.

"The introduction of the Energy Performance Certificate represents a very positive step forward," Paul King, WWF's UK campaigns director said in a statement. "It means that for the first time people will be given the kind of user-friendly information they need to reduce both the environmental impact of their homes and their energy bills."

You can have a look at a sample report here. ®

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