Downgrade on Energy Efficiency Rating for 43% of Dwellings in Spain

5/01/2015 – Cinco Dias

A year and a half ago (June 2013), a legal requirement on carrying out an assessment of energy performance of existing buildings came into force. The goal was clear: establishing a reliable parameter for property comparison, essential at the moment of marketing a housing unit in Spain.

Undoubtedly, experts criticized this Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) regulation as according to them the mandatory evaluation would restrict to homes for sale and let and would not apply to all the buildings with no exception.

As the domestic energy assessors said, the nuance, together with short validity time and little public disclosure about the law made ‘citizens assimilate the implications of energy efficiency grades (ranging from A to G) and therefore its impact on property values is not perceivable yet’, explains Marta Garcia Hernandez, chief of Tinsa Certify.

The assessor, leading in the sector, has produced around 36.500 energy certificates during the year and a half, of which 35.000 corresponded to dwellings. The result is heartbreaking.

As much as 43.07% was classified as G, the worst grade of all, and 36.9% was given an E, third-to-worst. Only the three least efficient grades (i. e. E, F and G) represent 95% of the stock. Approaching the data from the other side, mere 1.29% of the evaluations were closed with one of the best grades (A, B or C).

Another discouraging fact is that the number of issued document makes a tiny part of the total. It is estimated that they represent an energy performance of 6% of the buildings and 2.5% of all dwellings. The subterfuge about the assessment prices should also fall under the adjustment hammer of the sector if citizens are expected to respect the requirement.

Poor classification, Greater Consumption & Higher Costs

Some autonomous communities of Spain have commenced to impose first sanctions on individuals and companies who had dodged the obligation. Fines oscillate between 1.200 and 6.000 euros.

Tinsa defends that many citizens are unconscious of the mandatory nature of the law as it has not been made public widely enough. Moreover, private owners do not know how much they could save on an energy-efficient home.

Tinsa elaborated a table specifying requirements to be met for each grade. As an example, the assessor takes an average Madrid dwelling which, if having an A-grade, should consume energy for 200 euros annually, and if it had a G-grade, the cost would soar to 2.500 euros per year.

Final grade shall have an influence on the property price, pulling it down in case of poor performance and adding to value when it is efficient.


Original story: Cinco Días (by Raquel Díaz Guijarro)

Translation: AURA REE