The EU Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings (EPBD) contains a range of provisions aimed at improving energy performance in residential and non-residential buildings, in both new-build and existing buildings.
The EPBD obliges specific forms of information and advice on energy to be provided to building purchasers, tenants and users. The intention is that this information and advice will help consumers to make informed decisions leading to practical actions to improve energy performance.
As part of the Directive, a Building Energy Rating (BER) certificate, which is effectively an energy label, will be required at the point of sale or rental of a building, or on completion of a new building. The BER will be accompanied by an "Advisory Report" setting out recommendations for cost-effective improvements to the energy performance of the building. However there will be no legal obligation on vendors or prospective purchasers to carry out the recommended improvements.
From 1 January 2007 new dwellings that applied for planning permission on or after 1 January 2007, will require BER before they are offered for sale or rent. This requirement will be extended to all new non-residential buildings in July 2008 and to existing buildings offered for sale or rent in January 2009.