In 2012, a new requirement to present an energy performance certificate came into effect, which put the provisions of the EU into practice and replaced the old EAVG (Energy Performance Certificate Act) from 2006. Sellers and renters of real estate are now obligated to present and hand over an energy performance certificate to buyers or tenants.
Heating energy requirement and overall energy efficiency factor
The so-called heating energy requirement has already been included in the energy performance certificate in kilowatt hours per square meter per year ((kWh/m²a). In the future, a new value will be indicated on the first page of the energy performance certificate: the overall energy efficiency factor.
Information obligation in real estate advertisements
Another new obligation is that of sellers, renters, and real estate agents to indicate the heating energy requirement and the overall energy efficiency factor in real estate advertisements in print and online media. If this rule is not followed, the perpetrators are committing an administrative offence and must pay a fine of up to € 1,450. However, if an "old" energy performance certificate is available, which is valid for 10 years, the specification of the heating energy requirement will suffice.
New details and enforcement options
Sellers and renters must now present the energy performance certificate "in a timely manner before the submission of the contract declaration" so that interested parties have enough time to take it into consideration when making a decision.
According to the legislature, the energy performance certificate must be handed out no later than 14 days after the conclusion of the contract. After the expiration of the 14-day deadline and upon prior request, the buyer or tenant can file a suit or even have an energy performance certificate prepared and then file for compensation from the seller or renter.
If no energy performance certificate is presented, the overall energy efficiency of a building of similar construction type and age applies.
How much the energy data of a property affects the decisions of customers remains to be seen. What is certain is that themes such as heating and operational costs will become even more important and will become a new, essential decision criterion.