Since Real Decreto 5/2013 came into force, in Spain is compulsory to have the Energy Efficiency Certificate or energy certificate, which is as simple as an official document written by a competent technician, that include objective information about the energy characteristics of a property.
Obtaining this certificate is compulsory for any homeowner, both new or second hand houses, for sale or rent. In fact, to advertise the property is compulsory having this certificate, and there is a sanction regime for those houses that do not have it. Also, the notary is going to ask for it, previous to conveyance the sale or rent contract.
In this document it is rated energetically that the property, based on its calculation of the annual energy consume of the building in standard conditions of occupation and functioning. For that, it has to take into account factors like the hot water production, lighting, heating, cooling, isolations, carpentries, etc.
According to the achieved result in this calculation, it is marked with an energy tag, as we are accustomed to see in white goods and other type of products; using for that a scale from A (for the most efficient ones), to the G (for the less efficient).
Bellow, I attached a picture/example of a form certificate for a house:
And now, the question is: Is this certificate considered as a legal requirement/”rip-off” -as it is called in my homeland- or it has its utility? Because what the law really looks for is to promote and encourage the development of buildings with a high energy efficiency, and the saving energy investment.
So, for solving this question we have asked Francisco Domínguez, our architect and collaborator, with the purpose of giving to this debate a more technical and objective approach.
According to Francisco, “the Energy Efficiency Certificate has provoked an inflexion point in the valuation of a property, placing this concept in the mouth of a buyer and seller, as well as the constructor and promotor. It is true, that previous appearance of the Law did not take into account the energy answer of a property; currently it is another parameter to consider in the valuation of a property.
The EEC was born with a goal of getting houses with almost a zero consumed energy, but the methodology for accomplishing these certificates is not completely developed yet, as from our point of view, it should be done with a more exhaustive study, and the tools that leave us knowing a major detailed energy behaviour of a house.
But although that, the EEC admits putting in practise an energy assessment of any property, facilitating the energy improvements that are necessary in the reconstruction. Indeed, the add value of having a house with a good energy rate, is that in the “fearsome” reconstruction of a property, it is set and executed actions for the energy improvements, apart from the necessary investment on infrastructures.
From CYRARQUITECTURA we always insist on the basic factors for getting the energy improvements in a home: mainly the outside walls- isolations and windows- and the orientation of the different rooms. Finally, we remember that the new houses that we constructed, already have to fulfil a high energy requirement, and in that sense, we can use the example of Passivhaus.
As a conclusion, we see how it started as a legal requirement, it has been imposing in our culture, and nowadays it is an element that we have in mind by the time of appraising a house; because as Francisco Dominguez said, the infrastructure is one of those elements more expensive for that “fearsome” reconstruction, and owning a house with a good energy rate, means less inversion.