Documents when buying a house: the energy performance certificate
If we plan to buy or sell a property, we will need an Energy Performance Certificate; an official and indeed mandatory document that explains the property's energy performance over a period of 10 years. It is a key document when buying a house and has been a requirement of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism since 2013 to comply with the measures imposed by the European Union on all its member states.
To issue this certificate, a technician must first inspect the construction characteristics and installations of the property and then register them with the competent body and issue the certificate. Each property is assigned a letter based on the amount of energy it consumes each month; In turn, each letter comes with a certain cost when it comes to our invoice, with A being the cheapest and G the most expensive.
- Certificate A (dark green) is awarded to the most efficient homes, which generate an energy cost of below 55%.
- Certificate B (olive green) places the maximum energy cost at 75%.
- Certificate C (light green) is for homes with energy running costs of up to 90%.
- Certificate D (yellow, and the most common in our country) means an energy cost of less than 100%.
- Certificate E (pale orange) shows an energy cost of up to 110%, meaning there is considerable room for improvement.
- Certificate F (dark orange) has an energy cost of no more than 125%; and Certificate G (the worst, coloured red) means the property is not energy efficient at all and will require reform work, since it has an energy consumption of more than 125%.
How much does an Energy Performance Certificate cost?
The cost depends on the location and size of the house, and there is no set legal price, meaning each certifier is free to set its own rate. To this we will need to add the administrative fees charged by each autonomous community.
What types of homes require an Energy Performance Certificate?
This certificate is not necessary for garages, storage rooms, or buildings that are about to be renovated or demolished. However, it is compulsory for new-build homes, although in this case the rating is included as part of the construction project.
It is also a key document when buying, selling or renting a house, although more often than not these properties do not come with one. As a result, many buyers purchase their home without knowing its energy performance. Why? Ignorance or to save money, for the most part. The certifiers claim that the certificate is usually requested after the advertisement has been posted, but be wary, because according to Law 8/2013, on urban rehabilitation, regeneration and renovation, sellers who fail to include this information when advertising their flat can be fined up to €6,000. If we plan to sell or rent our property through an estate agent, they will insist on the Energy Performance Certificate and label when posting the advertisement.
If we rented our property prior to the entry into force of this law, we will need to give the tenant a copy of the certificate and make it part of the contract.
If selling, we will have to deliver it to the buyer and include it in the contract. It is quite astonishing that this information is often overlooked, as the fact that a house is rated with one or the other letter can generate a major saving on each monthly bill.
For instance, a property with a B rating can consume €1,250 less per year than a G-rated property.