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Energy Efficiency Certificate

As of 1 June 2013, any owner wishing to sell or rent their second-hand property (built before 2007) must have an energy efficiency certificate in compliance with Royal Decree 235/2013 of April 5 2013.
Here we settle the most common concerns in this regard.


15 answers to key concerns about the energy efficiency certificate


1. What is the energy efficiency certificate?

It is a document that includes the energy efficiency and consumption rating of a building or part of it (apartment, shop, office, etc.). It also includes information on the procedure, description of the energy characteristics and viable improvement recommendations.
The certificate must be filed with an official agency in the Spanish region concerned to ensure it is registered.

2. Who is required to have the certificate?

Owner or developers who wish to sell or rent a property must have the energy efficiency certificate from 1 June.
The owner or developer is also responsible for filing the certificate with the appropriate agency for registration.

3. Since when has the energy certificate been mandatory?

It has been mandatory to have an energy certificate to rent or sell a property since 1 June 2013 and it must be provided to the buyer or shown to the new tenant.
However, the energy label to be issued by the appropriate regional authority is also required and only four regions are in a condition to issue it.
This means that although it has been “mandatory” since 1 June 2013, there are owners who have the certificate but have not been able to register it and therefore will be unable to provide or show it until the regional government has created the corresponding registration and regulation.
Italy was in the same boat a few years ago as their deadline approached, but when it arrived there was a period of adaptation for everyone (owners, administration, etc.) due to the complexity of having everything ready on time.

4. Is there an adaptation period for the regions?

The Royal Decree gives a period of three months from its entry into force (14 April) for the regions to approve the regulation of energy certificates.

5. Which regions currently have an energy certificate registry office?

The only regions with registry offices to date are Andalusia, Valencia, Galicia and Canary Islands.
Madrid does not yet have regulations or a registry.

6. Which agency handles energy certificates?

Article 5 of the Royal Decree grants this power to the regions, so they must regulate energy certification and create an official registry office where all certificates will be entered.
It remains unclear whether the regions will charge a fee to the owner or developer for registering the certificate, but some experts do not rule it out as a means of raising funds.

7. What happens when the energy certificate is registered with the official agency?

Registering the certificate with the regional authority means granting the mandatory energy label to sell or rent a property.

8. How long is the energy certificate valid?

It is valid for 10 years and the owner will be responsible for renewing or updating it as established by the competent regional authority.

9. How much does the energy certificate cost?

Experts say the price will be set by the market, i.e., the law of supply and demand.
An average price of around €250 to €300 has been set but it will all depend on the size of the property and the availability of qualified certifiers.

10. What happens if you don’t have the certificate when selling or renting?

The Royal Decree determines penalties for breach of this mandatory requirement in all property sales and rentals.
There are three types of sanctions: minor, serious and very serious, with penalties ranging from €3,000 to €600,000.

11. How will compliance with this mandatory requirement be monitored?

Article 10 of the Royal Decree says the regions must monitor and check compliance with the obligation to have the energy efficiency certificate, but the reality is that at present almost none has a body of specialist technicians.
Experts say there is only one region which has around 180 technicians qualified to ensure the requirement is met, although they do not wish to say which one.
They also say some experts are offering their services to government agencies to do this work.

12. Can you report the owner for not having the certificate?

From 1 June, any consumer can report any owner who wants to sell or rent a property without an energy certificate.
It may be the case that the owner has the certificate but has not yet been able to register it because the region concerned has still to create the registry office.
In these situations, the owner need not worry.

13. Who can be a certifier?

The certificate must be issued by a competent technician freely chosen by the owner.
According to experts, a competent technician will be an architect, technical architect or engineer.
People who have obtained the certifier qualification but are not engineers cannot issue certificates at present.
The education ministry is negotiating an agreement to allow these people to do so.

14. Which buildings are exempt from the energy certificate?

Officially protected buildings and monuments, places of worship or religious activities, temporary buildings (intended to be used for two years or less), non-residential parts of industrial, defense or farm buildings, standalone buildings with less than 50 m2 of useful space and buildings used fewer than 4 months of the year.

15. What is the purpose of the energy certificate tax in Europe?

The aim is to ensure that properties in Spain are as efficient as possible, but the result of a home’s energy rating does not entail any type of consequence, i.e., it is an informative and non-binding document.
The aim of the government and of Europe is to ensure that properties with poorer energy ratings undergo reforms to boost their energy efficiency.
The aim is for all properties built after 31 December 2020 to have almost zero energy consumption, as established in the additional provision of Royal Decree 235/2013 of 5 April 2013.
The royal decree seeks to determine the current state of housing in Spain to know what measures to take to improve its efficiency.