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  • Topical Issue: Energy Performance of Buildings Certificate

    03. 12. 2014

    As of January 1, 2015, builders, building owners and owners of units (hereinafter referred to as "unit owners") will have the obligation to obtain energy-performance certificates (hereinafter referred to as "certificates") for residential or office buildings with a total reference area greater than 1500 square meters. In this context, we wish to remind you of how this issue is regulated.

    From January 1, 2013, the obligation to obtain the certificate lies with builders, building owners and unit owners with respect to new buildings or major rebuilding of existing buildings, and for some types of buildings occupied by public authorities pursuant to the Act no. 406/2000 Coll., on Energy Management, as amended.

    As regards apartment houses and office buildings already in use, a gradual phase-in of certificates has been introduced in dependence on the energy-reference area, i.e. the external floor-plan area of all spaces with reconditioned internal environment in the building. We have already mentioned that for real estate with energy-reference area greater than 1500 square meters, the duty to obtain the certificate comes into effect as of 1st of January, 2015. For properties with the area of more than 1000 square meters the deadline is 1st of January, 2017, and for properties with the area of less than 1000 square meters, the deadline will expire on January 1, 2019. The certificate must be shown upon request to the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the State Energy Inspection.

    Additionally, owners of buildings or building units have the obligation to obtain the certificate in case of i) a sale of a building or its self-contained part, ii) a new lease of a building, and iii) as of 1st of January 2016, a lease of a self-contained part of a building. Other duties associated with certificates arise in connection with dispositions. When advertising a property for sale or lease, energy-performance indicators listed in the certificate must be included in the information and promotional materials. It is also compulsory to provide the certificate (or a certified copy thereof) to potential buyers or tenants before a purchase or lease contract is signed. As a matter of course, the certificate (or its certified copy) must be handed over to the purchaser or lessee at the latest upon signing of the purchase or lease contract in connection with a building or its self-contained part. Owners of dwelling units are obliged to proceed similarly; however, the above obligations in connection with a lease of a unit come into effect as late as of January 1, 2016. If the owner of the unit is not handed over the certificate in spite of a written request, the certificate may be replaced by financial statement concerning the supply of electricity, gas and thermal energy for the respective unit for the past three years.

    The Act also provides for exceptions under which the obligation to obtain the certificate does not occur. It is in case of i) buildings with a total energy-reference area of less than 50 square meters, ii) buildings intended and usually used as places of worship, iii) buildings for family recreation, and iv) industrial and manufacturing plants, workshops and agricultural buildings with energy consumption up to 700 GJ per year.

    The certificate is valid for 10 years from the date of completion of a new building or rebuilding of an existing building for which it was issued. The certificate must comply with additional statutory requirements (e.g. it must be drafted only by a registered energy specialist and be part of the documentation demonstrating compliance with the technical requirements for buildings).

    Finally, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, through its implementing regulation no. 78/2013 Coll., on Energy Performance of Buildings, specifies the format and content of the certificate, as well as the way in which it is to be drafted and where it is to be placed in the building.

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