QUEStIONS AND ANSWERS ON ENERGY EFFICIENCY CERTIFICATES

ALL IS SET OUT IN THE THE ROYAL DECREE 235/2013 OF 5TH OF APRIL (REAL DECRETO 235/2013, DE 5 DE ABRIL, POR EL QUE SE APRUEBA EL PROCEDIMIENTO BÁSICO PARA LA CERTIFICACIÓN DE LA EFICIENCIA ENERGÉTICA DE LOS EDIFICIOS).



1. Is it compulsory that all existing buildings shall have an Energy Efficiency Certificate? 

The answer is NO. According to the first article of the introduction to this law in its paragraph 2 it says:

When any building which are newly constructed, is sold or rented or any parts thereof, an Energy Efficiency Certificate or a copy of this certificate should be shown to the buyer or new potential tenant and will be handed over to the purchaser or new tenant, in the terms established in the basic procedure of this law. 

 

Therefore, only when you are selling or letting your property or part of it will require the certificate.

 

2. Who is competent to issue these certificates?

In chapter I, article 1, section P of the above law it states that the authorised professionals are those specified in the Law 38/1999 of 5th of November (Ordenación de la Edificación) this is the law that set up the Spanish Building Regulation and whereby it establish that architects may produce all projects for any type of buildings and architectural assistants (Aparejadores) may supervise the works of this projects and also may produce minor projects that do not require structural calculations and also establishes that engineers are able to carry out projects of different industrial buildings depending their specializations.

 

Although in its Fourth additional provision it of this Royal Decree 235/2013 of 5th of April also declares that: By joint order of the heads of the ministries of industry, energy, tourism and promotion, the professional qualifications required to sign energy efficiency certificates, as well as media accreditation will be determined. For these purposes, it shall take into account the qualifications, training, experience and the complexity of the certification process.

 

 

As far as I know this future joint order has not been legislated so far, so my personal interpretation is that the only professionals authorised to issue energy certificates, are: architect and assistant architects may produce certificates on all types of buildings, and engineers on industrial buildings.

 

3. To which buildings does the certificate apply to?

According to chapter I, article 3 paragraphs

a) newly constructed buildings.

 

And b) buildings or parts of existing buildings that are sold or rented to a new tenant, provided that they do not have a certificate in force.

 

4. Whose responsibility is it?

Article 5 paragraph 1 explains the following:

 

The property developer or owner of the building or part thereof, whether new or existing, will be responsible for commissioning the Certification of Energy Efficiency of the building......... It will also be responsible for keeping the corresponding documentation. However this responsibility does not end here because in the following paragraph 6 it says: the certificate must be presented, by the property developer or the owner to the competent body of the Autonomous Region for its registration.

 

5. What should the certificate contain?

Well, it should first identify the building or part thereof, the process which has been used to obtain the required certification and the norms and regulations that have been taken into account. 

 

Should have a description of the energy characteristics of the buildings such as the thermal shell of the building, thermal installations, lighting used, the quality of the inside air etc. 

 

6. Are all buildings required to have an Energy Efficiency Certificate?

The answer is No. There are exceptions and these are:

(a) Any monument or buildings officially catalogued as historic building.

(b) Any religious buildings used as place of worship and/or used for religious activities.

(c) Any provisional building with a planned time of use not exceeding two years.

(d) Industrial, defence and agricultural buildings or parts thereof, or parts used as workshops, non-residential industrial and for agricultural processes.

(e) Any building or parts of an independent building with a total inner surface area of less than 50 m2.

(f) Buildings purchased for major renovations or demolition.

(g) Buildings or parts of existing residential buildings, which use is less than four months a year, or during a limited time per year and with an expected power consumption less than 25 % of which would result from its use throughout the year, provided that the owner make a responsible declaration.

 

From the above there are two categories which may need some clarification, and there are the (e) and the (g) paragraphs.

 

I understand from the paragraph (e) that it means that any independent building i.e. any building standing by itself which does not form part of a larger building and has an area of less than 50m2 does not require the certificate. This is my interpretation and doesn't necessarily coincide with that of other of my colleges as in an overcrowded meeting we had at the Murcia College of Architects last Monday night there was a disagreement on the actual interpretation of this paragraph.

 

About half of those presents understood that any independent unit of a building measuring less than 50m2 did not require a certificate and the other half (me included) interpreted that any independent building with an area of less than 50m2 did not require the certificate but any independent unit of a building of less than 50m2 did require the certificate.

 

With regards to paragraph (g) I understand that may affect many expats that have properties to let only during a short period of the year, say summer months and the energy consumed during that period is less than 25% of the energy normally consumed during a whole year, may through a responsible declaration which I understand is a declaration done in a notary, the home owner assumes that responsibility. I personally think that for the cost of the certificate which is valid for ten years it may not be worth going through that process and be responsible for tenants that may have the air condition full blast 24 hours a day.

 

7. How much does an Energy Efficiency Certificate cost?

Our prices varies depending on the location, size, condition and where the building is located, but the price for a house of 120 m2 in a town in the region of Murcia or Alicante in an average condition can be between 180€ to 250€. Please consult us our fees without any obligation.