First figures released on performance of houses as part of new Home Information Packs

The average four-bedroom house is getting an E energy rating, according to a survey following the introduction of Energy Performance Certificates and Home Information Packs.

The Government said that the rating of houses could potentially rise to C if consumers took measures such as loft and cavity wall insulation. By carrying out basic energy efficient measures householders could save £180 on heating, £60 on lighting and £30 on hot water bills, the Communities and Local Government department said.

The top 5 recommendations given by assessors for improving energy efficiency have been: cavity wall insulation, changing to low energy lighting, putting thermostatic valves on radiators, loft insulation, and double glazing.

Home Information Packs were yesterday extended to three-bedroom houses. Communities Minister Iain Wright said: "Families buying four bedroom homes are getting clear information which shows how they can save hundreds of pounds on their fuel bills and cut carbon emissions too. It is important that this should be available for people buying three bedroom homes as well."