Example of energy efficiency certificate SpainRead the title well, because it’s going to become very familiar over the next few months. On Friday, 5 April, the Royal decree was signed giving authority to the requirement for all property in Spain to have an energy efficiency rating certificate that will last for 10 years assuming no changes are made to the building. For the details, we now wait for the final text to be published in the BOE (Official State Bulletin). As the certification is to be regulated by each Comunidad throughout Spain, there are bound to be some variations.

Everyone will be familiar with the coloured bar codes attached to washing machines and other domestic appliances and it was decided by the EU in 2002 that these have to apply to houses. New houses have had to have the rating since approximately 2007, but the new decree now states that all property must have one if it is to be traded as from, possibly, as early as 1 June 2013. Yes, only 53 days away! The registration of the sale or rental (for more than 4 months) of the house (of more than 50 sq m ‘útil’) will not be permitted by the notary as from the specified date unless it has an energy efficiency rating. The certificates have been familiar features of property transactions in many countries in northern Europe for a number of years and now Spain is catching up. It’s also known that a good energy rating undoubtedly has a beneficial effect upon the value of the property. And why not, as it means that the running costs will be less and, probably, the building has been better maintained.

So, what’s going to happen over the next 53 or more days? Agents, who are going to be liable for a considerable fine if they market property without the rating shown, will have to add this item to the other papers that are required to comply with Andalucía’s Decree 218 and similar requirements in other Comunidades. However, not only is the time short, there will be a cost to obtaining this paper, which will be considerably more than that of the Nota Simple or Catastral information. What that cost is to be is as yet undecided as there is no national scale and it will depend upon each assessor. In addition, the certificate is likely to list the inefficiencies of the property, thus giving buyers ‘ammunition’ with which to reduce the price. I do not envy the agent’s task in persuading desperate sellers to put out scarce cash for these certificates.

I have completed a course for using the compulsory software and know that it is not just a simple box ticking exercise. An upper floor apartment will be relatively simple, but it will take considerable time to assess an individual villa, all of which will have to be paid for. And what are the banks going to do with all their repossessed resale property? So, we have an interesting time ahead. Survey Spain are organising the assessment of properties and will be very pleased to discuss the requirements of individual owners and selling/letting agents.