Landlords wishing to green-proof their properties could get a helping hand from the government, according to housing and planning minister John Healey.

Mr Healey proposed a new green rating for houses that will be more consumer-friendly than the current Code for Sustainable Homes, which was introduced in April 2007.

A star rating system of one to six is used to define whether a property performs well on environmentally friendly categories such as energy use.

While the code "has proved its worth", it must now be made more user-friendly, the minister said.

It is hoped that doing so will reduce utility bills by almost £1,500 per year for properties which are the most energy efficient.

Goals for zero carbon homes will also be reflected in the new measures alongside an aim to reduce the risk and impact of flooding.

British homes account for 25 per cent of the country's carbon emissions, Mr Healy said.

"The talks in Copenhagen have underlined the need for us to act now,"he said.

According to the BBC, talks at the climate summit are currently in deadlock.

But leaders of the 130 participating countries are hoping to sign a pact on Friday December 18th, it reported.

Written by Mark GarnerADNFCR-2002-ID-19518256-ADNFCR

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