Spain Explained

Tightening up on energy efficiency

A new law in 2013 established the requirement for an Energy Efficiency Certificate (EEC) or Certificado de Eficiencia Energética (CEE) to be made available to purchasers of Spanish property. The idea is that making this information more accessible will encourage home owners to make their property more energy efficient.

A decree in the Valencian Community

In the Valencia region, this requirement was notched up a little on April 8th 2015 with the decree 39/2015. More emphasis will be placed on the correct application of the EEC legislation by:

  • Enforcing the registration of the Certificate in the Comunidad Valenciana
  • Checking that the requirement is being applied and enforcing sanctions where it is not
  • Requiring that the presence of an EEC must be checked during the selling and buying process
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The decree will apply to all the homes in the Valencian community.

Those responsible for fulfilling this decree include:

This means that estate agents and rental agencies will also be responsible for ensuring the law is abided by and they could be fined themselves if they don’t.

When you need an EEC

An EEC must be obtained for:

  • New buildings, the EEC is required in order to obtain the first occupation certificate and should be requested from the promoter
  • Property that is for resale
  • Property that is to be rented for more than four months

The CEE/ EEC must be registered in Valencia’s official register (Registro de Certificación de Eficiencia Energética de Edificios). Once it has been registered the property owner will receive a label for energy efficiency and a registration document. These are what will be required to show compliance with the law.

The certificate is valued for up to 10 years from when it is issued and must be displayed when:

  • Work is carried out on the property that might change the building’s environment
  • The heating/cooling system is replaced
  • Ten years has elapsed since it was last issued

Notaries must check that there is an EEC when:

  • They authorise the ‘escritura’ or Title Deed of purchase/ sale of both new properties as well as second hand properties
  • They authorise the declaration of extensions on the deed

Checking up

The property registrars will make a note if an EEC has been made and will notify electronically the appropriate departments if it has not been obtained. It is very important that the certificate is in place not only for the seller but for those assisting in the sale.

The energy efficiency label is the symbol that indicates the level of energy performance rating obtained and is written in Valencian and Castellano (Spanish). It must be included in any offer, advert or other type of promotion of property for sale or for rent.  It must be displayed on billboards, real estate websites, brochures and newspaper ads.

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The fines

If you fail to comply with this law then you can expect there to be sanctions:

  • Minor offences – a fine of 300 to 600 euros, this might include advertising the sale of your home without displaying the EEC label
  • Serious offences – 601 to 1,000 euros, this might include for not registering the EEC or advertising a property that does not have a registered EEC
  • Very serious offences – 1001 to 6,000 euros, this might include fabricating information about an EEC or its registration or selling a property that has a false EEC label

Whatever the level of severity, if there has been a financial benefit to the infraction the fine will at least match this.

Sanctions can be modified to take into consideration the amount of damage caused and the profit made. Estate agents could be particularly vulnerable to large fines where it is considered that they have infringed consumer rights. In these cases the fine could be from 1,000€ to 15,000€.

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