The decree was approved by the Spanish cabinet on 5 April 2013.
It will apply to all contracts for the sale or rental of any existing property or property under construction from 1 June 2013.
According to this new Royal Decree, all property owners who sell or rent out their property will have to provide the buyer or tenant with an Energy Efficiency Certificate. This certificate will provide an objective assessment of a building or building unit's energy efficiency as well as benchmark values (e.g. minimum energy efficiency requirements) so that prospective buyers or tenants can evaluate the property's energy efficiency and compare it with that of other properties.
Buyers or tenants must be provided with an Energy Efficiency Certificate for all or part of the building, as appropriate, when any contract is signed for the sale or rental of a property from 1 June 2013 onwards.
The aim of the Basic Procedure is to promote energy efficiency by making it compulsory for property owners to provide objective information about the energy efficiency performance of buildings or building units to prospective buyers or tenants. The information is provided on an Energy Efficiency Certificate which can be used to assess a property's energy efficiency and compare it with that of other properties.
The energy efficiency score tells you how energy-efficient a building or unit is. It is calculated using the methods set out in the Basic Procedure document and provided on the energy efficiency label using energy indicators.
This is the process by which specialists check that the energy efficiency score calculated for an existing building or unit meets certification requirements. If it does, an Energy Efficiency Certificate for that existing building will be issued.
It is the documentation, provided by a qualified specialist, which contains information about the energy performance and energy efficiency score of an existing building or unit.
This label shows the building or building unit's energy efficiency score.
Specialists with the academic or professional qualifications required to carry out construction project planning, project management and project execution work (qualified architects (arquitectos) and architectural technologists (arquitectos técnicos)) or to plan the thermal infrastructure of a building (qualified industrial engineers (ingenieros industriales) or industrial technologists (ingenieros técnicos industriales)), in accordance with Spanish Building Standards Law 38/1999 of 5 November, as well as specialists qualified to sign Energy Efficiency Certificates or who have had their professional qualifications validated as required to sign Energy Efficiency Certificates as set out in the fourth additional provision of the aforementioned law.
The energy efficiency certification for each of the units that make up a building (i.e. apartments, commercial premises for a separate purpose or under a different legal title) will be based on the certification for the building as a whole or on the certification for one or several representative apartments or commercial premises in the building with the same energy efficiency characteristics.
Commercial premises for a separate purpose which has not been defined in the building plans must be certified before the premises can open for business. No certification is required if the premises are for industrial use.
DOES AN ENERGY EFFICIENCY CERTIFICATE GUARANTEE THAT A BUILDING OR UNIT MEETS ALL LEGAL REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO ENERGY?
The Energy Efficiency Certificate will only provide information about the building's energy efficiency and under no circumstances will it certify that the building meets any other legal requirements. The building must meet the minimum energy efficiency requirements set out in the regulations in effect at the time of its construction.
The owner or developer, as appropriate, must submit the building's Energy Efficiency Certificate to the authority in charge of energy efficiency certification in the Autonomous Region where the building is located. This is so that the authority can keep a record of all the certificates filed in the region.
Energy Efficiency Certificates must be made available to the energy efficiency or construction authorities that request them for inspection or any other reason. The certificates should be included in the building record (Libro del edificio) of any new buildings, or kept by the building or unit owner or the president of the community of property owners.
WHAT OTHER INFORMATION NEEDS TO APPEAR ON THE ENERGY EFFICIENCY CERTIFICATE APART FROM THE ENERGY EFFICIENCY SCORE?
Certificates for existing buildings should be accompanied by a document detailing any recommendations for improvements to the building or building unit's energy efficiency levels. This document is not required if no reasonable potential improvements can be made based on the energy efficiency requirements in force. The recommendations included on the Energy Efficiency Certificate are divided into two categories:
- Measures implemented as part of major alterations to the building's envelope or technical facilities.
- Measures affecting elements of the building but not requiring any major alterations to the building's envelope or technical facilities.
Energy Efficiency Certificates will be valid for a maximum of ten years.
The building's owner will be responsible for renewing or updating the Energy Efficiency Certificate in accordance with the requirements set out by the relevant authority in the Autonomous Region where the building is located. Owners can update the certificate voluntarily when they believe that any modifications to the building could lead to changes to its energy efficiency score.
SHOULD THE ENERGY EFFICIENCY LABEL BE PROVIDED AT THE TIME THE BUILDING OR UNIT IS SOLD OR RENTED OUT, OR SHOULD IT BE PROVIDED BEFOREHAND?
Beforehand. The label must be included in any promotional material used when the building or unit is offered for sale or rent. The label should very clearly state whether it refers to the Energy Efficiency Certificate for the building plans or the finished building.
When an existing building or unit is being sold, the Energy Efficiency Certificate must be provided to the buyer. When an existing building or unit is being rented out, a photocopy of the certificate will suffice.
WHAT SANCTIONS OR PENALTIES APPLY IF I FAIL TO COMPLY WITH THE BASIC PROCEDURE FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY CERTIFICATION?
Failure to comply with the Basic Procedure will be considered in all cases to be a violation of building energy efficiency certification regulations and will be sanctioned in accordance with the law in force at the time of the violation.
Furthermore, failure to comply with the Basic Procedure may be considered in some cases to be a violation of consumer protection regulations in accordance with sections k) and n) of article 49.1 of the Consolidated Text of the Spanish Consumer Protection Act, approved by Royal Legislative Decree 1/2007 of 16 November, and will be sanctioned in accordance with chapter II of part IV of that Consolidated Text.