On May 19, 2010, the European Parliament (EU) amended Directive 2010/31/EU. This guideline regulates the “overall energy efficiency of buildings”. The implementation of these requirements took place in Germany through the introduction of the energy certificate or energy pass. Further details, such as exhibition, use and basics, are described in the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV).
When is an energy certificate mandatory?
Since 2009, all owners of a residential building or commercial property have been obliged to submit an energy certificate. The energy certificate is mandatory when selling a house, selling an apartment for new rentals and new leases. A template is not necessary if the property is used by the owner and no rental is pending. Other exceptions are: listed buildings, churches, objects with a usable area of less than 50 m², holiday apartments or houses (not used all year round), stables or other agriculturally used or unheated buildings (garages, warehouses, etc.).
It is important that an energy certificate is also required when selling or renting a single apartment in a block of flats or residential building. However, this energy certificate refers to the entire building. An energy certificate cannot be issued for a single residential unit. The energy certificate costs are borne by the owner or the community of owners and cannot be passed on to the tenant. Tenants with a long-term lease cannot ask for an energy performance certificate.
The question of when the energy certificate will be clearly clarified for new buildings. The energy certificate must be taken into account as early as the planning stage. There is no exception here. The same applies if a building is completely renovated. In both cases, the energy pass serves as proof of the energetic quality of the property.
Public authorities with a large number of visitors are required to post energy performance certificates from a floor space of 500 m² and since 2015 from a floor space of 250 m². This also applies to banks, hotels and all commercial facilities with increased public traffic.
Energy performance certificate - content and period of validity
The scope of an energy certificate, no matter what type, comprises five pages. The first page contains general information such as address, year of construction, number of apartments and the type of calculation used (consumption or demand). On pages two or threeyou can see on a color scale from green to red how sparingly or energy-efficiently the property uses energy. The scale is divided from A+ (green) to H (red). These classifications are also known from the newer electrical appliances such as refrigerators and freezers. Low-energy houses can be found in the green area and unrenovated older houses in the red area. Consumption and demand values are also assigned to these energy efficiency classes (0 to >250 kWh/m²/a). Two arrows next to the color scale complete the display. The upper arrow interprets the final energy consumption or demand and the lower arrow the primary energy consumption or demand. Page four of the pass can contain renovation suggestions to improve energy efficiency and the pagefive is used for explanations.
An energy certificate is valid for 10 years. After this period at the latest, you have to apply for a new ID or, after extensive conversions or renovations, you should also have a new energy pass issued, as the energy values change.
Real estate sale or rental
Due to the tightening of the EnEV in 2014, the energy pass must already be available when the property is inspected and shown to the interested party without being asked. When the purchase or rental contract is concluded, the new owner or tenant receives a copy (original or copy).
Another new regulation is information about the energy certificate in real estate advertisements (type of energy certificate, consumption or demand-oriented). Further information, such as final energy value (in kWh/m²/a), the energy efficiency class (A+ to H), the year of construction and which heating system (e.g. oil, gas or other) is used, also belong in the advertisement. In the case of commercial properties, the final energy value for electricity and heating must be specified separately. If several energy sources are used, the main source must be named. If the certificate was created before 2014, there are no efficiency classes. It is possible to convert and state the value in the efficiency class, but this is a voluntary matter.
The only exception is if there is no energy performance certificate for the property at the time the advertisement is placed or if it is posted on the bulletin board in a company or university.
How much does an energy performance certificate cost?
The energy value calculations can be performed in two ways. The data is collected either based on consumption (consumption card) or needs-based (requirement card). The guidelines specify when which type of energy pass is permitted. The energy certificate costs vary significantly between these two solutions.
The data collection for the consumption card is less complex, but the information is not as extensive either. Among other things, the annual bills for electricity and heating for the last three years are included in the calculation. The amounts for the creation are between € 25.00 and € 100.00.
The requirement certificate contains far more detailed information. This is a theoretical annual requirement and the glazing, wall insulation, etc. are included in the calculation. This form is generally chosen for new buildings. The costs here are € 500 and more (depending on the effort involved).
The regulations state:
only a requirement certificate in residential buildings:
- with 1-4 residential units with a building application before November 1st, 1977, and the requirements of the 1st Thermal Insulation Ordinance are not met
Both variants are possible in residential buildings:
- with 1-4 residential units with a building application before November 1st, 1977, and the requirements of the 1st Thermal Insulation Ordinance are met
- with 1-4 residential units and building application after November 1st, 1977
- with 5 and more residential units
In the case of commercial properties (non-residential buildings), you can choose between the two options without restrictions. The general difference to the "normal" energy certificate is that the data of the ventilation, air conditioning and lighting systems must also be included. If there are one or more apartments (caretaker, employees) in a commercial property, two separate energy certificates may have to be issued.
The responsibility for the energy certificate is not uniformly regulated. In the federal states, either the lower departments of the building control authorities or the building control offices of the municipalities or districts are responsible. Violations of the EnEV guidelines are administrative offenses and can be reported to these authorities. On the other hand, you can also get information from these authorities regarding ambiguities.
How and where to apply for an energy certificate?
First you need a person who is authorized to issue an energy certificate according to the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV). Engineers, architects or craftsmen, for example, may be entitled to do so through special training or further education and professional experience. The necessary qualifications are listed in the EnEV. There is no official certificate for approval.
An ID card issuer is not obliged to inspect the object. It is sufficient if the owner provides all the necessary data and is therefore responsible for the correctness of the information. The exhibitor must check the transmitted data for plausibility and in case of doubt, he may not use them. In order to counteract future trouble or claims for damages, it makes sense to arrange an on-site appointment for detailed data collection.
Since 2014, every energy certificate has been registered with the Deutsches Institut für Bautechnik for a fee. The ID card issuer applies for this registration number. This allows the responsible authorities to randomly check the quality of the energy certificates. Exhibitors must keep copies of the energy certificates for two years.
Online energy certificate
A simplification of the whole procedure is the possibility to apply for an energy certificate online. Reputable companies not only help with questions on this topic, but the process from the application, fee-based registration, creation to the production of several color prints for your own documents and for the buyer or the tenant is all in one hand. Targeted questions are used to clarify which energy certificate is required, whether consumption-based or demand-based. By involving these service providers, you are legally on the safe side and the total costs, including all special requests, such as integrating a photo of the building and several color copies, can be foreseen in advance.
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