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Energy Certificates in Spain

Look at traditional Spanish properties and you will find that the very thick walls of country homes and grand villas were very capable of keeping heat, cold and humidity out. As is often the case, it was with the transition from traditional to more mass-produced construction that the problems of heat/cold, humidity and sound insulation first arose, and today we also know that a poorly insulated house is inefficient in energy terms, and therefore bad for the environment and more expensive to maintain.

When thick walls were replaced with thinner ones and interior dry wall partitions, the problems began. Poorly insulated aluminium or plastic window frames and single glazing did not help either, and though this gradually improved during the 1980s, it wasn’t until the 1990s that significant leaps forward were made in areas such as Andalucía. It’s a region not known for central heating, so the fire places were replaced by air conditioning and warm air units that still struggled to keep rooms made from cold materials such as marble, plaster, stone and glass warm and dry.

The need for an energy certificate
Today, construction standards have improved to the point of parity with most of Europe, but energy certificates remain of great value in indicating how energy efficient and well built a property you own or are about to buy or sell is. It will help confirm the boasts about a newly developed property and provide a clear indication of the state of health of an existing one. This is particularly valuable in the case of an older property, as it will give you an indication of just how much renovating or updating it needs, and how to factor the accompanying costs into the buying price.

Energy certificates are therefore a legal requirement when you wish to sell your property, and an up to date one has to be lodged with the estate agent before the property goes on to the market. It can be obtained from architects or qualified technicians, who are officially authorised to inspect the construction and thermal installations of buildings, and draw a report with statistical measurements and summarised findings. They form the basis for the energy efficiency rating, which categorises the property in relation to criteria such as insulation, build and the amount of energy needed to maintain temperatures.

The document also provides recommendations on how to improve the efficiency of a home, make it more comfortable and reduce running costs. A property with an A rating tops the list, a fact that adds to its desirability and price, while G is the lowest rating, and usually an indication that it needs some work. The process was introduced in 2013 and is now well-established, so in addition to a survey when you buy a property, and legally required when you sell one, the energy certificate is a useful reference point indicating the health of a property.

Cost of having it done
100m2 or less                    €125 +IVA
100-200m2                        €165 +IVA
200-300m2                       €195 +IVA
300-400m2                       €245 +IVA

Environmental hype
A lot is said about sustainability these days and a lot of homeowners and developers claim to be selling energy–efficient, ‘green’ properties, but how many really are?

In property transactions one rarely sees an energy certificate that has an E rating. Most properties move around the F region. So you wonder, why when you are doubtful whether a washing machine with the energy certificate A+ is good enough or if you should rather venture to an A+++.

So really, the certificate is no more than just a piece of paper that you have to get but does not actually have, up to now, any real relevance.

With the whole Costa del Sol having fewer solar panels than the average Romanian village in Transylvania, we should really make it count. Especially when it comes to new build houses.

The energy certificate helps lift the veil of boastful claims by providing clean information and categorising different properties with easy reference to one another. Insist on seeing one or contact us for advice and information.