Real Estate Transactions in Romania will soon require energy performance certificates

URBACT

By URBACT, on June 14th, 2010

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Romania must comply with the Energy Performance for Buildings Directive (EBPD), requiring energy audits for constructions. According to the national legislation on the energy performance of buildings, in the following months energy performance certificates will be mandatory and made available to potential buyers or tenants by the building’s owners, for all real estate
transactions. These certificates will be valid for ten years and will be drawn up by energy auditors.

The certificate informs the potential buyer or tenant about the apartment’s energy efficiency, expressed, generally, through the total yearly energy consumption, in kW per hour per square meter, integrating it into an energy class (from the A – high-efficiency class to the G- low efficiency class).

In Romania, the percentage of poor energy performance housing stock built during the communist regime is extremely high, meaning that few are the cases of buildings that can obtain a high-class efficiency certificate. According to a study developed by the European Institute of Romania, around 30% of the primary resources consumption is, in fact, losses, half of them coming from the residential sector.

Although it is clear that enforcing the energy certificate and complying with the EU directive is the road to follow, a number of debates and concerns were raised around this topic. The real estate agents feared a blockage on the market due to an insufficient number of energy auditors and an unequal distribution of them in the country’s cities.

The Romanian National Union of Public Notaries requested a delay in applying the law, as it would increase the prices of old houses by 5-10% and freeze transactions. Also the investors are worried about the price of the certificate and the future extra paper work in view of a real estate transaction.

The real estate investors should know that it is the building owner’s  obligation to obtain an energy audit and that they are taking a risk if they do not have the proper paperwork and do not understand the basic performance of the building. There is also a very close correlation between building quality and energy performance, which is further assurance for the investor. The Romanian Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism considers that the price of building energy certification does not affect the sales price too considerably, because it accounts for an insignificant percentage compared to the rest of the legal expenses related to the transaction.

Currently, a number of around 200 of future auditors are being formed in different technical universities across the country, which will be added to the existing auditors. Although delays in transactions or different procedural issues still may occur, the process must start and will be adjusted accordingly to respond to specific situations. The owners
must understand that the final purpose of this new legislation is the thermal rehabilitation of their properties and not complicating the process of selling or renting the property.

All considered, the law is one of the main legislative instruments already “in force” for monitoring the energy efficiency level of the Romanian homes and encourages the development of highly efficient buildings.

Read more:

Romanian National Dissemination Point

Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism

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