HC Deb 21 December 2000 vol 360 cc312-3W
Mrs. Gilroy

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) if he will make it his policy to require that the sellers' packs, proposed in the Homes Bill, will include(a) an energy efficiency rating for the property, (b) advice on cost-efficient energy saving measures that could be taken in the property and (c) the consequent savings due to these measures; [143189]

(2) what steps he is taking to promote energy efficiency to new home buyers; and if he will make a statement. [143278]

Mr. Raynsford

The Homes Bill establishes the requirement for a person marketing a residential property to compile a seller's pack, and enables the Secretary of State to prescribe by statutory instrument the contents of the seller's pack.

The pilot study carried out in Bristol earlier this year tested some of the potential components of a seller's pack. This pack included an energy efficiency assessment incorporating an energy rating using the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP), the Government's recommended system for energy rating of homes. It also included generic advice on measures to improve energy efficiency. The inclusion of such information was well received by home buyers, although some concerns were expressed about the format of this information and the accompanying advice. We are looking into these points further.

It is currently intended that Regulations prescribe the inclusion of an energy report in the seller's pack, and that this will include generic advice on measures to improve energy efficiency, and an indication of the cost and pay back period of each of those improvements.

As regards new homes, all new dwellings must comply with Part L of the Building Regulations, Conservation of Fuel and Power. We are currently reviewing Part L. In addition, through the Energy Efficiency Best Practice programme, we encourage housebuilders to build and promote highly energy efficient dwellings which would deliver a Standard Assessment Procedure energy rating of 80 or more on the 1–100 scale (the SAP 80+ initiative). Under an amendment of the Building Regulations taking effect from 1 January 2001, builders will have to post up notices of SAP ratings in new homes.