How do you get a Energy Performance Certificate?

Fast read

The German Energy Performance Certificate, called the "Energieausweis," introduced in 2008 and mandatory by 2009, provides details about a building's energy efficiency.

Scored from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient), it offers homeowners and potential buyers insights into a property's energy consumption, heating, cooling, and insulation. It aids in comparing energy efficiencies of different properties and anticipating energy expenses.

Some older buildings may need expensive renovations to meet energy standards, which could lower their market value. While the Certificate indicates energy efficiency, it doesn't guarantee significant energy savings. Though not a complete solution, it promotes awareness of home energy consumption. So is Australia ready for our own Energy Performance Certificate?

Energy Performance Certificate for the home – what is it?

We all agree that saving energy is important for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fighting climate change. The Germans also understood this and devised an Energy Performance Certificate for their homes. The German Energy Performance Certificate, also known as the “Energieausweis“, is a document that provides specific details and information regarding a building’s energy efficiency.

Both homeowners and buyers can now access information about a home’s energy usage, production, and overall efficiency.

family posing in front of home with an Energy Performance Certificate

When was the Energy Performance Certificate established?

The concept of the German Energy Performance Certificate was first established in 2008 and then made compulsory for all buildings on the market for sale or rent in January 2009. This was an early move influenced by Germany’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement and its national goal of reducing its carbon footprint.

This certificate provides information about the building’s heating and cooling systems, insulation efficiency, energy consumption, and other energy-related features.

The certificate helps them understand the energy efficiency of the building. It also helps them make informed decisions about renting or buying the property. The scale goes from A to G, with A being the most energy-efficient and G being the least energy-efficient.

Is it useful?

The German Energy Performance Certificate helps people understand how energy-efficient a building is before they buy it. This information allows buyers to make informed decisions. Also, having this certification can make your property worth more money. Having this certification can increase the value of your property.

In Germany, homes that are energy-efficient can sell for higher prices. This is because heating and cooling costs can be extremely expensive, sometimes exceeding $10,000 per year.

When energy costs to run a house were minimal, people did not care how much it would cost to run the home. My parents installed a hot water boiler-powered central heating system in their home in Germany. The house was built in 1968. At that time, heating oil costs were only 5 cents per litre.

Over the past 50 years, there has been a notable shift underscoring the importance of taking into account rising energy costs. Using tools such as the Energy Performance Certificate is crucial to address this issue.

What about Australian Homes?

A decade ago, energy prices in Australia were relatively low. However, now they are beginning to increase. Specifically, the costs for heating and cooling are going up. So, getting an idea of how energy-efficient a home would be at the time of purchase could be an important consideration.

We have already introduced an Energy Star rating system for appliances, so having the whole property assessed would only be an extension of the existing system towards the whole home.

For example, a tenant or buyer can use the Energy Performance Certificate of different homes to compare the energy efficiency of the various properties and see what kind of expenses they should expect to pay for different energy aspects of the building.

Also, the trend towards more eco-friendly living in Australia shows how attractive this idea can be. It’s crucial that a local Energy Performance Certificate doesn’t increase the cost of owning or selling a home by a lot.

Allowing home buyers to make an informed decision

The Energy Performance Certificate would allow potential home buyers to identify what aspects of a building need improvement in energy efficiency.

Someone may inspect a property with a B rating, and the Energy Performance Certificate highlights the lack of insulation. When a person inspects the property, they can proactively weigh up how to address and resolve this issue even before finalising the purchaseThis ensures better living comfort and can lead to long-term savings regarding energy costs.

Landlords may be motivated to improve a building’s energy efficiency because of this transparency. This could benefit tenants by helping them avoid high energy bills. It may also result in longer and more pleasant rental agreements in well-insulated homes.

the german Energy Performance Certificate

Are there any disadvantages to the Energy Performance Certificate?

The Energy Performance Certificate is a good tool for fighting climate change, but it also has some downsides.

  1. The first disadvantage is that the cost of obtaining an Energy Performance Certificate can disadvantage an older building when sold. This is because older buildings may require more extreme renovations to meet today’s energy standards. Homeowners have an opportunity to make sustainable upgrades.
  2. This means those who want to sell or rent their older-style home might have to invest in energy efficiency measures as part of the sales program, or if they leave it as is, they will not receive as much from the sale as the new owner will have to account for the cost of improving the building.
  3. Some people believe that the Energy Performance Certificate has limited usefulness. A building with a medium star rating may not save much energy. It may give information on energy efficiency, but that doesn’t guarantee savings. It just means the building consumes less energy than an older-style building.
  4. Poorly insulated buildings and those with outdated heating and cooling systems are exposed during the sales process. This can put disadvantaged homeowners at a disadvantage if they cannot afford to make their homes more energy-efficient.
  5. The assessment process must be well understood and calibrated via a skilled assessment workforce as if one does not account for all variables, it could lead to discrepancies in ratings.

The advantages could win out

Overall, the Energy Performance Certificate is a crucial aspect for building owners trying to sell or rent their property. It provides information on the energy efficiency of the building by creating a scale from A to G. This standardised measurement can serve as a valuable tool for Australians as they travel through the complexities of the real estate market. It can, also, hopefully reduce greenhouse emissions and lower overall energy consumption, making homes cheaper to run.

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