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energy_efficient_homes_1212It’s worth studying the Energy Certificate as this could help you bag the best price for the home of your dreams.

For every property sale to be registered, an Energy Efficiency Certificate (CEE) must be included within all the documents.

The Regulations state that the efficiency rating must be displayed in all selling and letting promotional material and a copy of the full certificate made available to every property enquirer.

Despite that, the convention appears to be not to obtain that certificate until contracts have been signed and everyone is on their way to the notary.

I suppose it will take a few agents and owners being substantially fined for people to comply with the regulations.

Study of the energy certificate should be a part of a buyer’s consideration of a property.

In the south of Spain, the energy consumption in a house will reach two peaks: in winter when heating is required and in summer when air conditioning comes into play.

How efficient the house is in retaining heat in winter and avoiding it in summer, is what the energy certificate is all about.

There are two linked energy certificate associated with a property.

The first, titled ‘Certificado de Eficiencia Energetica de Edificios’ is the one prepared by the Spanish qualified professional, using the mandatory computer programme with all the pretty colours and photographs.

The professional then uses this form to complete the application to the certifying authority (here, that is the Junta de Andalucía).

The application is the green one with the ‘Junta de Andalucía’ heading and when approved it has the all-important etiqueta at the end, date and time stamped and indicating when it expires 10 years later.

When instructing professionals to prepare the certificates it is essential that this, together with payment, refers to obtaining this all-important label.

We see many times that it’s only the computer printout that is obtained and there is panic close to the notary date when it is realised that the Junta-approved etiqueta has not been obtained.

The CEE is important for three reasons.

The first is that it describes the whole house – floor, wall and window areas and orientation; construction materials and their energy transfer efficiency, plus the same for windows and doors; and equipment, energy source and power use for heating and cooling, including hot water.

That information is then applied to an appropriate formula that provides an indicator of the energy and carbon dioxide released by the property, and the total energy consumed by the property, split between heating and cooling.

These indicators are then compared to the best (A) and worst (G) house types.

The second reason is that it describes how the energy efficiency can be improved, sometimes by relatively small changes such as new hot water heater or solar water heating.

And the third and immediate reason is that the IBI (property tax) is reduced by up to 20% for energy efficient houses.

When added together with the cost of energy savings, the return on a small investment can be significant.

So, when you are buying a property, demand a copy of the CEE before you even start negotiating the price.

Responsible valuers and building surveyors will be taking it into account when advising you on your purchase.

First published in Olive Press, 6th February 2017

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