Owners of buildings with more effective insulation enjoy savings in energy costs for heating and cooling, and reduce the property’s impact on our environment. In order to encourage higher energy efficiency in buildings and bring harmonisation across EU states, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (2010/31/EU) brought about the introduction of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs).
What is an Energy Performance Certificate?
Similar to the energy label on electrical appliances, energy performance certificates provide information to consumers on buildings they plan to buy or rent. They include an energy performance rating and recommendations for cost-effective improvements. Energy Performance Certificates also include cost-effective ways to improve the energy performance of the building to the owners or tenants of the buildings. Studies on the impact of energy performance certificates across residential markets in Europe, found that higher energy savings, on average resulted in substantially higher sale or rental prices.
In some countries, certificates must be included in all advertisements in commercial media when a building is put up for sale or rent, however this is not yet a requirement in Malta (in Jan 2023). After the property is transferred, the EPC certificate is handed over to the buyer or new tenant.
Who is authorised to issue EPC certificates?
EPC certificates are issued by accredited energy (EPB) assessor who uses standardized methods to measure the energy performance of the building. The assessors take into account factors such as the insulation of the building, the efficiency of the heating and cooling systems, and the use of renewable energy sources. In Malta, EPC certificates are issued by EPB assessors who have undertaken training provided by the Building and Construction Agency (BCA) and approved by the Building Regulation Board. Click here for list of SPB assessors for dwellings and non-dwellings.
How is the EPC certification done?
The EPB assessor will normally inspect the property to measure the size of rooms, the construction materials used, insulation levels, types of windows, ventilation features, details of the cooling, heating and hot water systems, etc. This information will then be used to calculate the energy performance of the building and to give it an official energy rating. All EPB assessors are be required to follow a standardised procedure using an approved calculation methodology to arrive at a rating.
How much does it cost to get an EPC Certificate?
Assessors are charged a fee of €75 by the Building and Construction Agency for official registration of the EPC, but the final total cost may vary from one supplier to another and it is best to request a quotation from different EPB assessors to compare prices. Prior to accepting the quotation, one should make sure that all the relevant fees are covered.
Who pays for the EPC certification?
All liable fees for acquiring an EPC certification are payable by the current owner of the property.
How long is an EPC certificate valid for?
In Malta, EPC certificates are required for all buildings, including residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. The certificates are valid for 10 years and must be renewed at the end of that period.
What are the benefits of having an EPC certification?
Apart from the obvious benefits of possible cost savings in energy bills, buildings with higher EPC ratings may be eligible for financial incentives, such as lower interest rates on mortgages or reduced property taxes.
Can my property “fail” the certification process?
Buildings constructed after 2007 must comply with the minimum requirements of Document F – Technical Guidance on the Conservation of Fuel, Energy and Natural Resources but there is no legal penalty for buildings with a high EPRDM (Energy Performance Rating of Dwellings in Malta). However it must be noted that a lower EPRDM should have a positive impact on the marketability of buildings offered for sale or letting.
What can be done to improve the rating shown on my Energy Performance Certificate?
There are various ways by which the energy rating of a building can be improved, and it would be a good idea to discuss these with the EPB assessors or other building professionals.
Here are some suggestions to consider:
- Install external insulation of polystyrene or similar materials on the roof and exposed walls.
- Ventilate roofs and walls to further enhance natural cooling of the external building structure by using the Stack Effect.
- Ventilate the interiors with natural ventilation techniques.
- Apply solar cooling using a Solar Chimney System.
- Add external shading systems such as external louvers, canopies or shutters
- Use double and triple glazing & UV filters on South facing windows and skylights.
- Install solar water heating together with the appropriate plumbing system.
- Use white reflective paint on the external walls and roof.
- Use energy efficient heating and cooling systems.
- Always use energy saving lamps, possibly with a lighting control occupancy system.
- Use water collection and install water recycling systems where feasible.
For more information, you may consult your preferred Alliance property advisor or contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.