When we first moved to Spain, we were shocked at how far behind the country was in terms of energy efficiency, heath & safety, and recycling. Even in our “modern” town – we didn’t have easy access to glass recycling, and were shocked at the several layers of plastic around a pack of fresh broccoli etc. Things had moved on a long way by the time we left that town 6 years later though, I have to say.
It was with interest, when we heard about a new initiative currently going through the courts stating that all property owners in Spain, that own homes that are listed for sale or rent should have an energy certificate. If your property is being rented out for more than 4 months each year, or is for sale… then you might want to have a look at this.
All these properties will be required to have an energy certificate to show that they are in line with Spain energy efficiency laws. The initiative was put to the courts at the end of January, and if it passes the final stage, this could be rapidly implemented, with property owners expected to fall into line by June 1st 2013.
These certificates will be issued by independent inspectors, regulated by an authorised administering body. Unfortunately, some areas do not yet have the independent bodies in place – making things a touch trickier to fall into line. The official rates aren’t yet available, but early reports are suggesting a cost of €250 – €300, although that may increase, dependant upon demand in a particular area.
The independent inspectors will measure how much energy the property uses, how much CO2 it sends out into the atmosphere… as well as heating, hot water and other electrical usage. Recommendations will be made on new windows, insulation, as well as ways to improve general power usuage.
Any properties for sale will be required to have this certificate or face a refusal of sale by buyers if they don’t feel it meets their expectations… and rental properties could be asked to produce this certificate at any time, or risk being banned from renting their property out to tenants if agents see fit.
This initiative is way overdue, and Brussels has put the pressure on Spain, stating that the country has been dragging its feet in getting this rolling. But as always, owners of Spanish property do not have long to “get their houses in order”. At time of press, the only buildings to be exempt are protected buildings, places of worship, or residential properties rented out for less than 4 months a year.
The company Certicalia has stated that this is “an essential measure to match Spain to Europe in the fight to reduce CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. They remind us that we are the last country in the European Union to adapt this legislation”.
Ines Garcia Perez from Certicalia adds, “It will now be mandatory for homes for sale or rent, which can help create a more upscale housing market and more transparency. Energy certificates available to prospective buyers and renters will have valuable information on your future home – which is impossible to deduce with photos on an ad or a typical visit to the property”.
Upside? Spain finally joins the rest of Europe in saving energy – about time too! Downside? You do not have much time to get your house into a state where the certificate can be issued. If this initiative gets pushed through in the next 2 to 3 weeks (which is looking highly likely), then you will need to take action.
We recommend that owners of property in Spain get legal advice regarding this from recognised, trusted sources – and of course be very wary of those bogus companies that spring up charging exorbitant fees whilst quoting scary stats and threats.
Elle, along with Alan, is the owner of Spain Buddy and the busy web design business – Spain Web Design by Gandy-Draper.
Born a “Norverner”, she then spent most of her life “Dann Saff” before moving to Spain in 2006. Elle’s loves are Alan, the internet, dogs, good food, and dry white wine – although not necessarily in that order.