Would you like to buy an energy certificate or pay the penalty payment due to the lack of one?
People selling or renting out a detached house do not always obtain an energy certificate, even though it is mandatory by law. The Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland (ARA) is planning to impose a penalty payment for sites without one.
Who is obligated to obtain an energy certificate based on the Act on Building Energy Certificates?
The Act on Building Energy Certificates (laki rakennuksen energiatodistuksesta, 50/2013) in its current format was introduced in stages. Detached houses, detached houses that are part of a housing company and semi-detached houses built before the year 1980 have been included in the scope of the act since the summer of 2017. An energy certificate is not mandatory for listed buildings and sites of less than 50 m2, which means that most people who are selling or renting out their houses are obligated by law to obtain one.
An energy certificate must be obtained at the latest when the home is being sold or rented out. You must have a certificate from the very beginning of the sales/rental process.
An energy certificate is valid for ten years, and one must also be obtained when applying for a building permit for a new home. To obtain the permit, you will need the energy certificate, an energy survey, balancing calculations and E-figure calculations. These will be used to verify the new building’s statutory energy efficiency.
What are the benefits of an energy certificate in addition to it being required by law?
Climate change and high living costs, energy costs in particular, are part of our everyday life, but we can influence them with the choices we make. By changing your habits slightly, you can lower your family’s overall annual consumption and reduce your emissions. For example, if you lower the indoor air temperature in your home by one degree Celsius, you will need approximately 5% less purchased energy to heat your home.
“From the viewpoint of homeowner, the most important information included in the energy certificate is no doubt the actions recommended by the person who prepared the certificate to improve the home’s energy efficiency, as well as any related location-specific calculations, such as calculations on how large savings could be achieved by installing a geothermal heat pump or an air source heat pump. The expert must always look at the building as a whole, including all of the structures and systems and the entire building lifecycle, to be able to combine a variety of actions with the required renovations at the correct time and in an economically advantageous manner. For example, if a roof renovation and adding insulation in the roof structures will be necessary in the next ten years, these actions should be combined with the installation of solar panels,” explains Antti Hatsala, Senior Energy Expert from Raksystems Insinööritoimisto Oy.
An energy expert will use the observations made and information obtained from the site’s documentation as the basis when providing the recommended actions. An experienced expert can use the energy certificate as initial data when surveying opportunities to save energy and planning projects, for example.
“I recommend considering replacing a natural ventilation system or a mechanical exhaust ventilation system with a mechanical supply and exhaust ventilation system that includes heat recovery, for example. In most cases, a mechanical supply and exhaust ventilation system will also make the building healthier, and the system’s payback period in a detached house is usually 22–32 years. Even though the payback period is clearly more than ten years, the mechanical supply and exhaust ventilation system will induce savings to the customer right away,” Hatsala explains.
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