We all know how important it is for our own pockets and the environment, to be energy savvy. The energy performance certificate in Spain is one way in which you can check that a property you are buying, or selling, is energy efficient. In this article we explain what it is, how to get one and when you need it.
The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is required by anyone who is renting a property out for four months or more or selling a property. It demonstrates how energy efficient the property is. Each house or flat is given a rating between A and G. The rating A is the most efficient and G the least. After allocation, it remains valid for 10 years, except when your property holds a G rating. In this case you must renew it within 5 years. It is the responsibility of the homeowner who is selling or renting the property, to obtain one. In the case of a newbuild it is the builder who must apply for an Energy Performance Certificate.
When do you need one?
You must promptly display the Energy Performance Certificate label on property advertisements when listing them for sale or rent. This requirement applies whether you are advertising the property online, on a poster, or in a brochure.
When renting a property, you should attach a copy of the certificate to the contract. When buying a property, you should present the certificate as one of the documents during the conveyancing process. Obtaining a tourist license for holiday rentals requires an EPC, depending on the autonomous community where your property is located.
When don’t you need one?
There are exceptions when it isn’t necessary for a property to have an Energy Performance Certificate in Spain:
- In cases where a property has less than 50 square meters of floor area.
- If a property is acquired for extensive renovation or demolition purposes.
- When the property will be used for less than four months of the year
- Where there is already a rental contract in place
Except for specific exemptions, obtaining an EPC is mandatory and failing to do so can result in substantial fines. Property owners or landlords claiming exemption must provide a signed declaration.
What does the EPC consist of?
The Energy Performance Certificate in Spain includes information on the type of energy being used, its characteristics and recommendations for improvement. It evaluates:
- Window insulation
- Air conditioning
- Hot water production
All with a view to their level of energy efficiency. The EPC provides recommendations for how you can reduce your consumption whilst also making your property more comfortable.
How useful is it?
The idea is that the EPC can highlight where you are losing money because of poor energy efficiency. With various available schemes, you can find ways to reduce the amount of loss, such as improving insulation to decrease the reliance on air conditioning.
The Energy Performance Certificate gives you an idea of how much it might cost to implement its recommendations and what the subsequent savings could be on your bills. It might even help you to reduce your income tax when renovation work has been carried out or recommendations implemented.
It is also useful for those renting or buying a property. They have an idea, before moving in, of how much it is likely to cost to run it and this can be beneficial when deciding on budgets and how much they can afford to offer. Decisions can be made about which property to choose not only according to the usual criteria but also on how much the ongoing costs will be.
How do you obtain one?
There are some organisations that offer to apply for an Energy Performance Certificate on your behalf. However, if you prefer to do yours directly then you will need to choose a company, architect, engineer or authorised technician. They will advertise themselves as being EPC companies and you will want to check that you can communicate with them in your own language.
The technician will then come and visit the property, collect information and come to a conclusion about the energy rating. You should make sure that you have a floor plan available to help them in their work. Be warned – it is actually illegal for an ECP to be made without someone visiting your property, so be wary of anyone suggesting that it can be done only online or through photos.
The final stage is for your technician to issue the certificate and for it to be registered in the correct Autonomous Community. The registration fees vary depending upon which community you belong to. How much it costs you altogether will depend upon who you choose to do the work. The Energy Performance Certificate might seem like just another piece of paper but it could play an important part in keeping your bills low and doing your bit for the planet.
When clients instruct Abaco for the sale or purchase of a property, we ensure that the EPC is in place. Our collaborating Architect, who has extensive experience in this field, will handle the processing.