As we mentioned last week, Energy Certificates are raising many doubts among consumers, and some scams have been reported.
This article is a follow up from last week´s and try to explains how much can cost an energy certificate for buildings, lists the possible fraud, pointing to what should be included and provides the keys to improve the energy efficiency of a building.
To start off be aware of anyone offering one off certificate for less than 100 Euros.
If on top of that anyone offers a certificate with a letter "A" or similar before even visiting the property and for less than 100Euros or it produces the certificate from a distant office without even visiting the dwelling, then it is crystal clear that it is a fraud. No one knows with a degree of certainty which letter the computer programme will award the property, as the programme it is totally opaque as to its working and the letter is produced when the programme compare the property with a virtual property that the programme envisage and by balancing the efficiency of the real property with the virtual one, awards the appropriate efficiency letter, that as you know it goes from the least efficient letter "G" to the most efficient letter "A"
Is my certificate a worthless piece of paper?
Well, as you may be acquainted with, the certificate you obtain from your architect or engineer must be registered in your Community so as to be converted into an official approved Certificate. This procedure could be done by yourself or you can ask the professional who produced the certificate to also register it in the appropriate Community. I personally recommend the latter, as it is a rather confusing procedure, especially in the Valencia area.
It took us three days to work out how to register ourselves in the web before we were allowed to commence to register any Certificates on behalf of our clients!!
How do I know that the Certificate is registered?
There is a fast and convenient way to check that the certificate you have been given is valid in the Valencia Community and that is by visiting the web page: http://gcee.aven.es/publico/ there you can search for your certificate by introducing the code number shown on the bottom part of the registered certificate or by introducing the address of the property.
In case of Murcia Community the registration has to be done personally at the "Dirección General de Industria, Energía y Minas at "Calle Nuevas Tecnologías, s/n , 30071 Murcia" so to find out if you are in possession of a valid registered Certificate you must pay a visit to the above address or call the telephone 968 36 20 13. In both cases you must arm yourself with patience.
What should be included in an Energy Certificate?
There is another way to find out if your certificate is a fake and that is by examining the content. As a minimum, it should contain the following information:
1. Identification of the building or, in case is part of a building, the part that is certified i.e. address, city, province, climatic zone, Official Property Registration Reference "Referencia Catastral".
2. Indication of the recognized procedure for energy rating. The following information shall be provided within the Certificate:
- Description of the energy characteristics of the property and other data needed to obtain the energy rating of the building (heating systems, envelope and thermal, if it is an industrial or commercial building, also lighting facilities and conditions of operation and occupation).
- Regulations on efficiency and energy savings, if any existed during the period of construction.
- Description of tests, checks and inspections carried out by inspector.
3. Energy efficiency of the building expressed by the energy label rating. In addition to the global ranking, include partial qualifications for: heating, cooling, hot water and in the case of the commercial units, lighting checks should also be included.
4. The document must also contain a listing with energy saving measures recommended by the inspector. The certificate is valid for ten years, although the owner may update it voluntarily when it considers that there have been substantial variations carried out in the building.