Residential buildings are classified according to their energy performance.
The energy performance certificate (also known as Energiepass - energy passport) provides information on a building's calculated energy consumption and its CO2 emissions. The certificate specifies energy performance classes ranging from A (the most energy-efficient) to I (the least energy-efficient). This classification is based on the following indexes:
- primary energy requirement;
- heating energy requirement;
- CO2 emissions.
The energy performance certificate (certificat de performance énergétique - CPE) for a residential building can be established by architects, consulting engineers or experts approved by the Ministry of the Economy.
The energy performance certificate for a residential building must be requested:
- in the case of a new non-residential building, by the developer, future owner, or commonhold association; or
- in the case of an extension, modification or significant remodelling of an existing residential building, by the owner or commonhold association; or
- in the case of a change of ownership or tenancy and if an energy performance certificate does not already exist for the building in question, by the former owner or commonhold association.
An energy performance certificate must be issued for each dwelling area or unit concerned if:
- there are one or more dwellings located in a functional (non-residential) building;
- the residential building consists of a set of several units or is divided into several zones.
The person applying for an energy performance certificate (CPE) must pay the necessary fee for its establishment.
This costs for a CPE may vary depending on the professional it was requested from.
Mandatory establishment of energy performance certificates
In some cases, the establishment of an energy performance certificate is mandatory.
These cases are:
- the new construction of a residential building for which a building permit is required;
- the extension or modification of an existing residential building;
- a change of ownership or tenancy in an existing residential building.
An energy performance certificate may also be required in the following cases:
- modification of an existing building (with building permit):
- if the surface of the modified part of a building's thermal envelope exceeds by 10 % the area of the building's same part (exterior walls, roof or windows, etc.). For example, if the total facade of a house is 200m2, and 40m2 of this facade is being insulated, the 10% of the total surface of the facade are exceeded;
- if the modification has an impact on the building's energy performance;
- substantial transformation of a residential building (without building permit):
- if the surface of the transformation of a building's thermal envelope exceeds by 10 % the area of the building's same part (exterior walls, roof or windows, etc.);
- if the transformation has an impact on energy consumption;
- demolition of the building:
- if the building is sold;
- if the building is demolished after having been sold;
- if it has a heating system, exterior walls and a roof;
- technical installations, if the value of the installations is greater than:
- EUR 1,500 in the case of a single-family building;
- EUR 3,000 for a multi-family building.
A new energy performance calculation must be performed, and a new energy performance certificate established and presented to the authority responsible for building permits (the local commune) for information purposes, if:
- the building permit has been granted;
- modifications likely to have an impact on the energy performance of the building are carried out while it is under construction;
- the building permit is not modified.
Applying for an energy performance certificate
The energy performance certificate is established by residential building experts, i.e.:
- architects or consulting engineers who are members of the Order of Architects and Consulting Engineers (Ordre des architectes et des ingénieurs conseils - OAI);
- experts approved by the Ministry of the Economy
Applicants can contact an expert of their choice.
All owners of a residential building receive the original copy of the energy performance certificate for their building.
In the event of a change in ownership, the original energy performance certificate must be handed over to the new owner.
In the event of a change in tenancy, the new tenant must be provided with a certified copy of the energy performance certificate.
For existing residential buildings, the certificate contains recommendations on how to improve energy performance.
Documents required for the establishment of an energy performance certificate
Certain information and documents are required in order to obtain an energy performance certificate.
When constructing a new building or extending an existing building, the applicant must attach the following (non-exhaustive list):
- floor and facade plans for the future building/extension;
- construction details indicating the composition of the various elements of the envelope of the future building/extension;
- details of all the technical installations used for heating, hot water production, photovoltaic and ventilation installations of the future building/extension.
For an existing building, the applicant must attach the following (non-exhaustive list):
- floor and facade plans for the building (if available);
- construction details indicating the composition of the various elements of building envelope (if available);
- invoices or statements relating to thermal energy consumption (natural gas, oil, heating network, etc.) for the 3 years preceding the date of establishment of the energy performance certificate.
In the case of an existing building, an approved expert must also inspect the building.
Duration of validity of the energy performance certificate
Energy performance certificates are valid for 10 years.
The certificate's start and end date must be indicated on it.
4 years after the establishment of a CPE for a new building at the latest, the owner must complete the certificate with a measured energy expenditure index for heating and hot water.
Real estate advertisement
Prospective buyers or tenants must be able to consult a building's energy performance certificate.
Commercial real estate sales and rental advertisements should therefore indicate:
- the energy performance class (depending on the primary energy expenditure index);
- as well as the thermal insulation class (according to the heating energy expenditure index) of the residential building.
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