New Anglo-Welsh homes to get energy labels

Government amends building regulations as part of push to cut greenhouse emissions

New homes in England and Wales will have to carry energy labels showing how efficient their space and water heating is, the UK environment ministry announced yesterday. Due to take effect in January, the change was recommended last year by advisory body the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP) (ENDS Daily 7 December 1999).

The amendment to existing building regulations is part of the UK's push to cut emissions of greenhouse gases, the government said. Energy labelling would "help to promote energy efficiency as a factor in people's decisions on which home to choose," said construction minister Nick Raynsford. As recommended by the RCEP, the labels will be based on a scale of one to 100, with higher scores for more energy efficient dwellings.

Whether the new rules will achieve the governments aims remains to be seen. Earlier this year, an independent think-tank claimed that a trend towards smaller households and people's desire for warm homes would outweigh likely buildings and appliance efficiency gains (ENDS Daily 7 August).

Follow Up:
UK environment ministry, tel: +44 20 79 44 30 00, and press release.

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