New legislation from the EU may persuade sellers to make their homes more energy efficient before putting them on the market. The EU Directive comes into force in 2012 and will make it compulsory for all adverts for houses for sale to feature an energy efficiency rating.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) believes that as a result of the new law, Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) will play a more significant and formal part in the homebuying process. At present, although buyers must commission an EPC when placing their property on the market, the results may not be available when early potential buyers view it. Under new rules, ‘For Sale' signs will have a green, amber or red grading.
"It will make it easier for [homebuyers] to compare ‘like for like' and could deter them from viewing homes that have poor energy efficency ratings," says Martin Russell Croucher, Head of Sustainability at RICS.
Phil Levermore, managing director of not-for-profit energy company Ebico, reinforces this idea. "The link between the value of a home and its energy efficiency rating is about to get much clearer. There has never been a better time to make a home more energy efficient. Not only could it make a property more saleable in the future, but people will also reap rewards from lower energy bills and a warmer, more comfortable home in the mean time."