An energy performance certificate (also known as "passeport énergétique") must be presented when selling, leasing, renovating, extending or constructing a non-residential building.
Non-residential buildings (i.e. buildings in which less than 90% of the energy reference area is reserved for residential use) are classified on the basis of their energy performance.
In the case of new non-residential buildings, the energy performance certificate provides information on the calculated energy needs of the building in question as well as its CO2 emissions. Buildings may be assigned an energy performance class ranging from A (the most energy-efficient) to I.
This rating is based on data relating to:
- primary energy needs (total, heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting);
- energy needs for heating;
- weighted final energy needs;
- CO2 emissions.
In the case of existing non-residential buildings, the energy performance certificate provides information on the measured energy consumption (thermal and electrical) of the building in question.
These values are compared to consumption benchmarks and are represented on an energy scale (ranging from 0% to 400%).
Who is concerned
An energy performance certificate must be requested by:
- the building's developer or future owner/syndicate of co-owners in the case of a new non-residential building;
- the building's owner/syndicate of co-owners in the case of an extension, modification or significant renovation of an existing non-residential building;
- the building's former owner/syndicate of co-owners in the case of a change of ownership of or tenancy in the non-residential building, if an energy passport does not already exist.
An energy performance certificate must accompany:
- the application for a construction permit for:
- any new construction of a non-residential building;
- any extension or modification of an existing non-residential building;
- applications for an operating permit for classified establishments;
An energy performance certificate must also be obtained for:
- a significant renovation of a non-residential building;
- a change in ownership or tenancy of an existing non-residential building if there is no valid energy passport.
If, after a construction permit has been granted, adaptations are made during the construction of the building affecting its energy performance but not necessitating an amendment to the construction permit, the building's energy needs must be re-calculated and a new energy performance certificate must be obtained and submitted to the authority responsible for issuing construction permits.
It is not mandatory to obtain an energy performance certificate when carrying out significant renovations if:
- the renovation impacts less than 10% of the surface area of any one component of the building envelope (external walls, roof, windows, flooring);
- the cost of work relating to technical installations is less than EUR 3,000.
How to proceed
Documents to be provided
A certain amount of information and documents are required in order to obtain an energy performance certificate:
- when constructing a new building or extending an existing building (non-exhaustive list):
- floor and façade plans for the future building/extension;
- construction details indicating the composition of the various elements of the future building/extension envelope;
- technical details relating to the ventilation equipment and heating and domestic hot water installations to be used in the future building/extension;
- for an existing building (non-exhaustive list):
- floor and façade plans for the building;
- construction details indicating the composition of the various elements of the building envelope (if available);
- invoices or statements relating to thermal energy consumption (natural gas, oil, heating network, etc.) and electricity consumption for the three years preceding the date on which the energy passport is established.
In the case of an existing building, an approved expert must also visit the building.
Establishing an energy performance certificate
The energy performance certificate is issued by:
- experts in new non-residential buildings (architects or consulting engineers who are members of the Order of Architects and Consulting Engineers);
- experts in existing non-domestic buildings (authorised by the Minister responsible for energy matters, or members of the Order of Architects and Consulting Engineers).
Applicants are responsible for contacting their chosen expert.
Fees are payable by the applicant. It is therefore advisable to compare several experts in terms of their offers and prices before requesting an energy performance certificate.
All non-residential building owners receive an original copy of the energy performance certificate for their building.
In the event of a change in ownership, the original copy of the energy performance certificate must be handed over to the new owner.
In the event of a change of tenancy, a certified copy of the energy performance certificate must be provided to the new tenant.
Prospective buyers or tenants must be able to consult a building's energy performance certificate.
Validity period of the energy performance certificate
energy performance certificates are valid for a period of ten years.
Four years after they are established, and subsequently every three years, an expert must update them on the basis of energy consumption measurements for the three previous years.
These updates do not affect the date of establishment or the validity period of the energy performance certificate.
Energy performance certificates for existing non-residential buildings always contain a qualitative energy analysis of the building.
If the building's measured consumption exceeds a specific threshold (> 140% of benchmark consumption), an expert must draft a report quantitatively analysing recommendations for modernisation with respect to the building's energy performance within four years of the date of establishment of the certificate.
Real estate advertising
Since 1 July 2012, real estate ads for the sale or rent of property which are published in commercial media have to include:
- either the energy performance class (depending on the total consumption of primary energy) as well as the thermal insulation class (depending on the consumption of heat energy) of non-residential buildings;
- or the index concerning the consumption of heat energy and the consumption of electricity of non-residential buildings.