Energy Performance Certificate

As of 1 January 2009, people who are looking to design a new house, to purchase or rent a house or apartment, have the right to demand an energy performance certificate for the building. The energy performance certificate shows the level of energy efficiency of the immovable property being acquired. The higher the building’s energy efficiency class (A through H), the lower the energy bills will be in the future. The most efficient are A-class buildings and the most energy is spent by buildings that have received the H-class certificate. What is an energy performance certificate? An energy performance certificate is a document that shows how much energy a building or a part thereof consumes in a year per square metre of heated space. When issuing the energy performance certificate the energy spent on heating, cooling, heating water, ventilation, lighting, using electrical equipment, etc. in the building is taken into account. Why is the energy performance certificate necessary? The energy performance certificate is necessary in order for the apartment buyer to know what their electricity and heating bills will be like in the future. Therefore, the energy performance certificate should help when it comes to people being interested in purchasing energy efficient immovable property. The energy performance certificate allows for a comparison of the building’s energy consumption with other similar buildings and to help select a more energy-efficient option when acquiring immovable property. Which buildings must have an energy performance certificate? Existing buildings and apartments: All buildings or apartments wishing to be purchased or sold after 1 January 2009 must have an energy performance certificate. The seller must hand over the energy performance certificate to the buyer during the purchase-sale transaction. New buildings: All buildings must have an energy performance certificate, the design of which begins in 2009.In this case the energy performance certificate must be submitted to the local government when applying for a building permit. When can the energy performance certificate be obtained? Energy performance certificates are issued for existing buildings by a company that performs energy audits or issues energy performance certificates. The company issuing the certificate will present the person who orders with a data sheet, on which the heating costs and types, electricity costs, water use, method of preparing hot water, and other similar information for the last three years will be marked. Data is analysed and the average annual energy cost per square metre is calculated. The designer shall issue an energy performance certificate for new buildings. Once construction has ended, the builder will hand over the energy performance certificate to the owner of the building along with other construction related documentation. How long will the energy performance certificate remain valid? The energy performance certificate has a period of validity of 10 years. An energy performance certificate issued at a later date will invalidate an energy performance certificate issued earlier for the same structure or a part thereof. Who must ensure that the building has an energy performance certificate? In the case of new buildings, the design of which begins in 2009, the energy efficiency must be designed by the company or person who prepared the building project. In the case of existing buildings, all buildings or any parts thereof which were purchased after 1 January 2009 must have an energy performance certificate. The existence of the energy performance certificate must be ensured by the owner of the building. If the apartment building does not have an energy performance certificate, having one shall immediately become mandatory if even one person submits a relevant request. The Apartment Associations Act prescribes that if even one apartment owner requests the certificate the board must apply for one within one month as of the submission of the request. Applicable Estonian legislation does not prohibit transactions from being carried out in a situation in which the seller has failed to fulfil the request before the buyer for the submission of an energy performance certificate. At present, the law also does not prescribe any sanctions for parties to the transaction due to the lack of an energy performance certificate. The lack of an energy performance certificate in the transaction may pose more of a risk to the buyer: if the consumer has not expressed interest in the certificate, but later begins to understand that the energy invoices are unreasonably high, the possibilities for disputing the transaction from the aspect of energy use are obviously limited. Source: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications