Effects of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) on the housing rental market.

The implementation of the Energy Performance Certificate of buildings in different European countries, which emerged in 2002 with the European Directive on energy efficiency of buildings, is proving to be a useful tool in the management of the real estate stock, beyond simple information to consumers regarding the quality of their buildings.

The EPC describes the efficiency of a property in terms of its energy consumption, classifying it with a colour code and a scale that goes from category “A” (maximum efficiency) to “G” (minimum efficiency) and that works practically same as the energy label of household appliances. For its calculation, it is based on the estimate of consumption expressed in final energy per square meter and per year. The EPC approach differs from country to country and the calculation system is the subject of much debate among experts.

France has taken a step forward in EPC applications and has approved that, from January 2023, class G homes will no longer be considered decent and therefore can no longer be rented. This means that a home is classified as energy worthy when its consumption expressed in final energy per square meter is less than 450 kWh / m2 / year. The decree only applies to new rental contracts entered into after that date.

The decree does not satisfy the environmental groups that expected it more ambitious, including the diagnostic classes F and G, but the government has preferred to start slowly with a rather limited threshold to deal with the worst buildings in energy efficiency. Only 90,000 homes are affected by this decree when by 2028 they want to reach 4.8 million energy inefficient homes, if they have not previously completed their energy renovation and improvements.


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 Author: Xavier Casanovas (RehabiMed)