The Energy Performance Certificates explained

As has been reported on a range of property news sites, Spain recently approved Royal Decree 235/2013. From the 1st of June if you intend to rent or sell your property you will require an energy rating certificate.

According to the legislation the energy rating certification will need to be present on all advertisements, offers and promotions relating to the sale or rental of any property.
Royal Decree (in Spanish)

What is an Energy certificate?
It is a document that indicates the energy efficiency of a home, building or property. Describing how effective the use of energy is and where improvements can be made.
View example of certificate (in Spanish)

What is the purpose of the energy certification of buildings?
The main objective is to make homes as energy efficient as possible. Through the certificate is possible to know the state of the current housing stock and facilitate the implementation of policies to improve the efficiency of buildings.
The aim is that by December 31, 2020 all new Spanish properties are to have ‘almost’ zero energy consumption, as established in the additional provision of Royal Decree 235/2013, of April 5.
It also aims to inform buyers and renters on the efficiency (energy consumption and CO2 emissions) of a future Spanish property and allow for a better informed decision.
What properties need energy efficiency certification?
The energy certificate is required and necessary for all Spanish properties for sale and rent from June 1.

• officially protected buildings and monuments.
• places of worship or religious activities.
• provisional constructions intended for only up to 2 years use.
• certain industrial, defence and agriculture buildings.
• Buildings or parts of buildings separated from the main structure and of less than 50m2 usable
• Buildings in use for less than 4 months a year.

What is the Energy Rating Label?
A rating to report energy efficiency of a home, building or property. It is common throughout the country and must be made public and available to buyers or users when sold or leased.

View example of label (in Spanish)

Where is it mandatory to display it?
The Energy Rating label must be present in all advertisements, offers, promotions and advertising to the sale or rental of any dwelling or building new or second hand.

At what point when it is mandatory to have the Energy Certificate?
It is mandatory from June 1, 2013 for any home or property for sale or rent, new or second hand.

In case of sale, the seller must provide the original certificate to the buyer at the notary. If renting, you must attach a photocopy of the contract.

Is there an adjustment period?
But it does appear that the period between the obligation to enact the law and the obligation to start registering it is just over a month. This means that until about 13th of July 2013 it will not be possible to apply penalties/fines. Although this should not be taken as a given.

What regions have a Registry for Energy Certifications?
The only Autonomous Communities which already have a record are Andalusia, Valencia, Galicia and the Canary Islands.

What happens when you sign the Energy Certificate in a government agency?
Registry of the certificate should grant you the energy label that must appear in all advertisements and publicity to sell or rent your Spanish property.

Who is responsible for obtaining the certificates?
The property owner will be responsible for commissioning, recording and preserving the energy performance certificate.
According to the Royal Decree, “the developer or owner of the building or part thereof, whether new construction or existing, will be responsible for commissioning the completion of the certification of building energy efficiency.”

Where can I go to certify a building?
Recent months have seen a proliferation of companies offering the issuance of this document. It is essential that the company or person who will certify your Spanish property has the right knowledge, especially regarding the two programs (CE3 and CE3X) and recognized for certification by the Ministries of Industry, Energy and Tourism and Development.

How much does the certificate Energy?
The cost may vary according to the home or property, the area and the technicia’sn certification. The average price for a home between 80 to 100 m2 seems to range from 150 € and 250 €.
To this we must add the cost of registration of the certificate that can range from 10 € to 20 € on average.

Is there any help or grant?

What is the validity period of the Energy Certificate? Should I renew?
The energy performance certificate shall be valid for ten years.
Renewal of the certification will be down to to regional bodies. If works are done prior to the 10 period, there will be the chance to have the certification updated.

Where are the certificate is registered?
Once certified, the owner must register it. The document must be submitted “to the competent body of the Autonomous Community on energy certification of buildings, for the registration of these certifications in its territory”.
Autonomous communities have been given a period of three months to launch this record and develop at the regional standard.
The Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism has supplied a document compiling the relevant contact agencies for the energy certifications.
Regional contact details (in Spanish)

What can happen if I do not get the Energy Certificate?
By not having your property certified you are in breach of consumer protection law, which is punishable under the “General Law on Protection of Consumers and Users”.

The penalties depend on whether the failure has been mild, severe or very severe, and the amounts of the penalties will range from 300 euros for minor infractions (not advertising the rating, etc…) to 6,000 euros (publication without registration, fraud, etc…).

Can I be sued for not having or not having registered Certificate?
In theory, as of June 1 any consumer may report the owner who wants to sell or rent a home without the energy certificate.

Until July 13th we may have the certificate but still no record because the Autonomous Community has not yet created the record. In this case there would be no place for complaint.

Do I have to show the energy rating to advertise my home?
Yes it is mandatory. The Energy Rating label “will be included in any offer, promotion and advertising to the sale or lease of the building or building unit”, making clear the need to have a certificate to advertise a property, whether in the window of a agency or a real estate web portal.

Since the penalty system is still pending and many regions still do not have an official record or a team of inspectors, it is likely that no sanction from the very June 1.
After a transition period, the possession of the certificate will be essential, not only to advertise a property, but to sign the deeds of sale or lease, as the new owner or tenant can sue the seller or landlord for Lacking certificate.

Do I need to carry out any property reforms to obtain the Certificate?
No, no need to undertake any reform for obtaining Energy Certificate.

The result of the Energy Certification entails some obligation or consequence?
The result of the energy rating of a home does not entail any consequences, is an informative document only and not binding.

What now?
Most of the above has been gleaned from a range of sites, with many of the main Spanish property portals and news sites covering the subject. I would suggest contacting your legal representatives in Spain, if you have not done so already, as soon as possible. More than likely they have been approached by several companies able to issue these certificates, and have checked that everything is above board.

Andrew Bellés

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