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Call for low energy performance properties to be banned from sale or rental in UK

The Energy Saving Trust, a government advisory body, wants a new law to be introduced that would ban properties with F and G ratings from being sold or rented out from 2015 onwards.

It is calling for grants and financing packages to be made available along with more advice for property owners but says that for property owners who refuse to act there should be stringent legislation.

According to the trust some 27% of the UK's CO2 emissions come from UK residential property, contributing to the acceleration of climate change. And if the government is to meet its targets to cut domestic carbon emissions by 29% by 2020 then tough measures are needed.

'The danger of climate change is so great that regulation has to be considered to drive action on the most energy inefficient homes. We need a powerful incentive to act as a backstop in case other measures do not work,' a spokeswoman said.

It is estimated that around 5.5 million properties in the UK come under the two lowest bands and that it would cost between £5,000 and £10,000 to bring them up to scratch. 'Our figures show that if all the F and G homes were upgraded to just meet band E standards we would save 9.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year,' she said

But critics point out that while some properties can be upgraded relatively easily there are those such as Grade One and Two listed cottages and castles where other regulations make this difficult or virtually impossible especially in such a small timescale.

The Energy Saving Trust also pointed out that simple water saving devices could save 30% of the carbon emissions associated with heating water in properties. Measures such as lagging pipes and using low flow taps could save the average property owner £225 per year on water and electric bills.