By Paul Davies and Michael Green

Buildings account for 40 percent of energy consumption and 36 percent of CO2 emissions in Europe. With pressure mounting to enhance energy efficiency, the European Union is striving to achieve nearly zero-energy for all new buildings by 2020. Ramping up efforts to reduce the property carbon footprint, the UK Government put forward the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property (England and Wales)) Regulations in spring 2015. The regulations apply to both domestic and non-domestic premises and are indicative of the Energy Act 2011, which promised to introduce regulation to prevent inefficient properties from being let, coming into force.