EPC's or to give them their correct title "Certificado de Eficiencia Energética", is the documentation that certifies the energy rating of your home. Similar to washing machines and refrigerators.
It identifies the rating on a band from A to G, A being the most efficient and G being the least efficient.
The official document is the Royal Decree 235/2013 (5th of April) and it contains all the information should you wish to obtain it first-hand.
Part of the decree document states that when a newly constructed building or an existing building including parts thereof are sold or rented by a tenant a valid EPC or copy must be provided. Basically if you decide to sell, rent out any part or all of your property an EPC will be required. Fines can be imposed for non-compliance.
The EPC was first imagined at the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, a world-wide initiative that set out to address the Green House gas emissions and combat global warming, subjects that we are so much more aware of these days.
Since then the EU have formulated a Europe-wide directive for the energy performance of buildings, this directive the Energy Performance of Buildings (EPBD) applies to all member states detailing clear timescales for implementation of the measures that must be introduced. Part of these measures saw the advent of the EPC.
Who has the competence to issue these certificates?
A law passed on the 5th of November 1999 (38/1999 Ordenación de la Edificacion) set up the Spanish Building Regulations and it established that: Architects, architectural assistants, (aparejadores, Arquitectos Técnicos) are able to provide these certificates. In fact the above entities are able to issue many types of certificates for all type of buildings, with engineers for industrial buildings.
Whose responsibility is it?
The property developer or owner of the building either whole or in part, new or existing, has the responsibility for commissioning and retaining the documentation for the EPC.
What information should be contained in the EPC?
It should identify the building (whole or in part) that it relates to, along with the process
that was used to obtain certification, outlining the norms and regulations.
A description of the energy characteristics of the building e.g. information about the thermal shell, thermal insulations, internal air quality and fixed energy using machines, water boilers air conditioning units etc.
Do all buildings require an EPC?
There are exceptions:
Buildings officially catalogued as historic, buildings used for religious worship or religious activities.
Buildings with a planned time of use not exceeding two years.
Industrial, defence and agricultural buildings in whole or in part, workshops and non-residential buildings associated with these activities.
Small buildings with a total inner surface area of less than 50m2.
Buildings that have been purchased for major renovation or demolition.
*Residential buildings that have reduced occupancy (less than four months a year) with an anticipated energy consumption rate less that 25% of the total amount expected over 12 months.
*We understand this exemption requires that a responsible declaration be made by the householder and that it be put on record via a Notary. As this would incur cost it may not be worth going through the process and an EPC through the recognised channels would be the better compliance option.
Once issued an EPC is valid for ten years, unless there is building works or renovations carried out on the property.
You can check if your property has a current EPC using the regional registry and the catastral reference for the house.
Following the survey a calculation using formatted software will generate the ‘energy rating’ of the property A to G. It is better for the seller or the landlord to gain as high a rating possible, however some properties will only receive ratings in the lower bands of E,F and G. When this is the case there are no obligatory changes that must be made to the dwelling and you will still be able to put the property onto the market. The only thing to consider is the rating high or low may influence the buyer or the prospective tenant.
Through our architectural services partner Pacheco & Asociados, Come to Spain Group S.L. are able to provide EPC’s and the other documents required when buying or selling a property in Spain. We are well placed to assist on many other matters relating to owning a property here.
Should you require any information about buying a property in Spain please do not hesitate to contact us or you can Join Us to receive regular updates and information on various topics about life in Spain.