Home purchases and refurbishments: what you should know about energy certificates

Home purchases and refurbishments: what you should know about energy certificates

One of the main aims of energy performance certificates for buildings is to ensure that the people involved in the sale or lease of a property have information about its energy status before they complete the operation. These documents provide useful information to find out whether a building has suitable energy characteristics and the approximate annual energy costs.

The Government of Andorra passed a Decree on 29-1-2020 that regulates the energy efficiency rating in a building, as part of the framework of the country’s Act on its energy transition. The text makes the energy efficiency rating for homes being sold mandatory from 1 January 2020 and from 1 January 2023 in the case of rented properties.

In this article we explain what an energy performance certificate is and how to obtain it.

What is it for and who has to process it?

The aim of the energy rating is to provide people with information about this aspect of homes and buildings, so that they are able to weigh up and compare their performance. This is similar to what people do for household appliances and the purpose is the same: to find out the degree of environmental responsibility.

Having this rating is now required to carry out any home sale or lease. The owner of a building or home is responsible for obtaining this energy rating and providing it to the purchasers or tenants.

How is it calculated and what information does it provide?

A methodological model is used to calculate the energy performance rating of a property based on its CO2 emissions and energy consumption.

The result of these calculations is the energy efficiency of a building or housing unit, which is rated on a scale of letters from A to G. It also provides information about the approximate annual energy cost of a property.

Each letter is assigned a colour. The most sustainable are in a shade of green that is darker the better the rating, and the least sustainable are in yellow and orange.

Specifically, the energy performance rating:

  • Classifies energy efficiency on a scale from A to G and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Gives annual energy consumption and an order of magnitude of the costs associated with this consumption.
  • Provides information on the annual output of renewable energies, if applicable.
  • Recommends refurbishment work to improve the energy efficiency of a building.

How can it be obtained?

To obtain it, a building must undergo examination by a service engineer who will issue the document.

The energy rating must be delivered and put on record by an authorised expert, such as an architect, quantity surveyor, engineer or technical engineer. Further information can be obtained from the country’s official professional associations.

How much does it cost?

The cost for an energy performance rating is set by the experts authorised to calculate it. In the cases of energy labels, there is a set maximum price (indirect taxes not included) of €240 for buildings with a surface area of up to 80 m2 and €3/m2 for surface areas greater than 80 m2. Filing the energy rating with the public authorities is free of charge.

What’s the difference between an energy label and an energy certificate?

An energy label is a document that shows the energy efficiency of a home. This document is intended for homes that have been occupied for at least two years and there is a record of past consumption.

An energy certificate is accompanied by a full report in which a breakdown is given of the different energy characteristics of a home and the potential recommended improvements to obtain a better rating on the certificate.

A building must undergo examination by a service engineer who will issue the document.

Where can I check the energy rating of a building or housing unit?

There is a public energy efficiency rating registry for buildings that may be accessed by any interested parties at the Oficina de l’Energia i del Canvi Climàtic (Office for Energy and Climate Change).

Will obtaining the energy rating for my property entail any building work?

No, there are recommendations for obtaining the energy rating, but they are for information purposes only. However, in many cases if home owners or landlords wish to do any such building work they can obtain a grant to carry it out from the Renova programme, provided they have obtained the building permits to do so.

To work towards a more sustainable world, MoraBanc now has products to finance the purchase of your home that also rewards you for wanting a better world, such as our  Super Mortgage, which apart from giving your preferential conditions for your mortgage also provides a 0.25% discount on the spread rate if you provide a class A or B energy efficiency improvement certificate.

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