Home Information Packs (HIPs) have today become mandatory on sales of properties with four or more bedrooms.
The HIPs, pushed through by housing minister Yvette Cooper, will be completed by the vendor and will provide details of land searches, title deeds and the property's Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
The EPC will assess the building's energy efficiency and recommend how, if required, to beef it up. It is hoped the move will help cut the impact that homes - which are responsible for around a quarter of the UK's carbon emissions - have on climate change.
While the introduction of EPCs has been broadly welcomed, Friends of the Earth has urged the government to extend the scheme to cover all homes.
The environmental charity has also pressed for measures to be introduced in the Pre Budget Report to encourage home-owners to act on the EPC information to make their homes more energy efficient.
Friends of the Earth campaigner Dave Timms said: 'We're delighted that Energy Performance Certificates are now up and running, if only on some properties.
'This is a long overdue measure that is vital to tackle climate change and will help homeowners to save money on their energy bills. The government must urgently extend the scheme to cover all homes being sold.'by Max Thompson