A properly insulated home with high energy efficiency, no matter if it is a studio apartment or a villa, could easily help the homeowner save up to 30% on the property’s electricity bills, not to mention helping the country’s environment. That’s where Energy Performance Certificates come in.
Here’s the lowdown on why an EPC could save you energy – not to mention time and money – especially when buying or selling your property in Malta.
What is an EPC?
In the real estate industry, an Energy Performance Certificate, or EPC, rates a building for energy efficiency in much the same way as household electrical appliances have an energy rating label classed from A to G.
In a property’s EPC, the energy bar rating reflects the design and carbon emissions of the building, as well as the energy efficiency of the interior, including boiler systems, water heaters, or air conditioner performance.
Even more helpfully for homeowners, the EPC will also offer recommendations about cost-effective improvements that may help the property to receive a better energy efficiency class – and possibly lower the electric bills.
Am I obliged to get an EPC?
In a word – yes.
Today, an EPC is a legal requirement for all buildings in Malta, regardless of whether it is still being designed or if it is fully finished. Anyone intending to purchase or rent a property in Malta needs to apply for one, although in the case of rental and sale, this responsibility usually falls on the landlord or the vendor.
It is also up to the property owner to make sure that whenever their property is constructed, sold or rented out, the EPC is handed over to the new buyer or tenant when they complete the promise of sale contract or the rental agreement.
A note of caution for property owners, however: if you can’t produce a valid EPC when requested by Malta’s Building Regulations Office (BRO), you may have to pay a fine of up to €5,000.
On the upside, an EPC stays valid for 10 years from the date it is issued and can still be used if the property is put on the market within that time, provided there have been no significant changes to the building in the meantime that might have affected its energy performance.
Likewise, prospective buyers are more likely to buy property that has an EPC boasting a high energy efficiency class – so having an EPC may even help to sell your property at a higher price.
How can I get an EPC for my property in Malta?
The process of getting an EPC for a Malta property is swift and simple.
Energy Performance Certificates in Malta must always be carried out by an Energy Performance of Buildings (EPB) assessor, who is registered with the Building Regulation Office (BRO).
The assessor will inspect your property, before calculating the energy use rating of the building and issuing an EPC that is fully registered with the BRO. While the BRO charges a €75 registration fee for each certificate registration, there is no set fee for the EPC itself, as that is set by the assessor.
A full list of registered assessors is available online from www.epc.gov.mt, but make sure to first ask your RE/MAX agent for any recommendations.
How can I improve my home’s energy efficiency?
Although your home’s EPC will offer you specific suggestions for how to boost its energy rating, there are several steps you can take that have been proven to help improve a property’s energy efficiency in general.
The most popular of these is to reduce a home’s electric load by selecting household appliances with a very high energy class, usually with a star rating of A+ or above. Energy-saving lightbulbs used around the home also do exactly that: save energy.
Making sure that your home is properly insulated can significantly improve your energy use, as you would need less fuel to heat in winter and less electricity to cool via air conditioning in the summer. Investing in double- or triple-glazed windows, shaded awnings, or even renewable energy systems such as solar panels, will also pay dividends later on when you receive your reduced electricity bill.
Speak to a member of the RE/MAX Malta team today about improving the energy efficiency of your property and how to obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).