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The importance of an energy certificate in Spain

It is very important when buying a Spanish property to check that it has an energy certificate. In June 2013, Spanish law decreed that property owners must have an authorised Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for their home, and certainly must be in possession of this document if they are selling it. Owners will also need an energy certificate in Spain if they want to rent out a property because if a tenant asks to see the certificate and if an owner doesn’t possess it, they can face a fine. Essentially, the best advice is – make sure a property has an EPC, whether you are a buyer or a seller. The notary will not complete a sale without seeing the energy certificate, so if you want an easy life and streamlined sale, get an EPC.

An energy certificate in Spain helps buyers

There are good reasons to have an energy certificate in Spain. Buyers typically enquire, “How much are the fuel bills?” when viewing a property. They can’t always rely on the answer they are given, but the EPC gives them some factual data from which they can work out what the costs are for themselves. An energy certificate in Spain provides objective information provided by a qualified technician who inspects the types of energy used in a property and then calculates the annual energy consumption needed under normal occupancy conditions, e.g. use of hot water, heating, lighting and air conditioning. The property is then assigned one of seven letters on a scale where A is the most energy efficient building and G is the least efficient.

If you look at property listings over the last few years, you will see that the energy efficiency of the property is now often included in the information given, including the energy band it sits in. If you are in any doubt about whether a property you are buying has an energy certificate, you can always consult the regional property registry, known as the Catastral in Spain, to see if a certificate has been issued.

EPC for vendors

If you are selling your property you should organise an EPC at the earliest opportunity. It involves finding an architect or specialist technician who has the authority to issue a an energy certificate in Spain. They will visit the property and gather information about ownership, the property location and other data about the building. They then perform an energy audit of the following: the building’s orientation; its exterior exposure to the climate and the number of windows and doors. The technician will look at the water, electric and gas systems as well. The collected data is then processed through government-approved software to arrive at the final energy grading. The owner is given the report and it is also lodged with the property registry for the area of Spain governing the location.

Cost of an EPC

The cost of obtaining an EPC depends on the size of the property, and can range from €100 to €300. However, if you don’t have one, the fines range from €3,000 to €600,000, so making sure you have one makes good financial sense.

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