Application Energy Certificate

Application Energy Certificate

Some of you may have heard already that also Portugal has to comply with European legislation. One of them is new legislation related to energy and efficiency certificates. In 2002 the European Union issued a decree known as the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).  

Part of this EU legislation is the issue of a Building Energy certificate. This was introduced already on 1st. of June 2007 which is called phase 1. As from that date it applied to new buildings over 800 m² in size.

As from 01-07-2008 the 2nd. phase came into effect and applies to all new buildings irrespective of their size.

On the 1st. of January 2009 the last phase will become effective and this applies to all buildings old and new irrespective of their size and age and they will require this energy certification.

Most of you will now already how the certificate looks like as it is already used for domestic appliances and/or cars, whereby A-A+ is the most efficient and G the least efficient.

All activities are coordinated by a new department called “ADENE” (

It was the intention of the authorities that by the end of this year (2008) 3 to 4000 specialists would be available to carry out these inspections, however till today less than 500 are registered of which probably 10% in the Algarve.

Who needs the energy certificate:

New projects submitted after 01-07-2008 will have to include a new thermal project along with the other engineering projects. There has for some time been a requirement to issue thermal projects but with the new legislation, these projects are far more involved. They need to be carried out by a PQ (see later).

As of 1st. of January 2009 all buildings (new and existing) and all properties sold by Notarial deed need to have/produce this certificate. Also properties subject to a normal longer term rental contract (for 5 years) need to have one. Contracts signed before January 1st. are exempted. Also it seems that it is not necessary for short term rentals.

The thermal projects are split in 2 categories:

  1. RCCTE – for buildings less than a 1000m² and less than 25KW heating and air-conditioning.
  2. RSECE – for buildings greater than 1000m² or greater than 25KW heating and air-conditioning.

The first one tends to apply to residential buildings and the latter to commercial buildings.

How does it work?

Once the thermal project is completed the energy grade is calculated using specialist software; all new buildings must achieve an A or B to be approved at the planning stage.

With existing buildings the procedure is slightly different. As of January next year, existing buildings will need to be certified. This will involve a qualified engineer to visit the property and assessing the building in terms of the type of construction (walls, windows, insulations etc) and the type of services within (heating, air-conditioning, solar etc.) The engineer will then calculate the thermal efficiency of the building and consequently issue the Certificate.

With an existing building the only legal requirement is to possess the certificate, without a specific grade being required.

When can the certificate be applied for:

For the first 2 phases it is clear. For the third phase coming into effect on 1-1-2009 inspection now can be applied for. Without this certificate it is impossible to sell your property as the Notary will require this document.

What happens if you do not have the Certificate?

Lacking to produce the Certificate will imply fines between € 250 and € 3.740.

Who can carry out the inspection?

This only can be done by highly prepared technicians “Peritos Qualificados” (PQ). This is a technician, duly qualified and recognised by his or her association to carry out the activities envisaged within the framework of the Energy and Interior Ait Quality of Building Certification. In other words they have undertaken a government course and have obtained the required qualification. Qualified people can be found on the web site of ADENE.

What is the aim of the inspection?

The inspection will determine the energy consumption and comfort of the property. Into consideration will be taken the location, sun exposure, building characteristics and equipment installed.

One is going to establish what it will cost to achieve a temperature of 20ºC+ in winter and 25ºC- in summertime.

What are the advantages of having an inspection/certificate?

It will allow you to celebrate the escritura (title deed). Based on the recommendation given you may be able to reduce your energy bill and to improve your comfort of living. In case you will achieve a high grade A+A or B it will increase the value of your property. Even more in case you achieve and A+ or A you may qualify to get a reduction on your income tax of 10%.

What are the likely costs?

According to Portaria 835/2007 registry fees for DCR and CE are required for each autonomous dwelling.

Domestic dwellings will cost € 45 + IVA

Service buildings will cost € 250 + IVA.

Besides that Engineer’s fees to do the certification are due with an estimated cost of € 700+ IVA.

70% for het DCR label (Declaração de conformidade Regulamento do projecto)

30% for the CE label (Certificado do desempenho energético e da qualidade do ar interior nos edifícios).

How long is the Certificate valid?

The Certificate belongs to the building and not to the person just like the Habitation License and does not need to be renewed on a regular basis. It will be valid for a period of 10 years. However when the existing owner wishes to sell, the Certificate will need to be renewed to ensure that the correct information is presented to any potential purchaser.

The only exception to this is where substantial modifications are made to the property which is equal or greater than 45% of the building value.

Pre Certificate

It is possible to apply for a Pré Certificate. This will contain the same information as the normal Certificate but can not be used for title deeds but will give recommendations. It can be converted within 1 year’s time without an additional inspection.

In general and to resume:

Having an Energy Certificate will (for the time being) not has any influence on the amount of IMI (Rates) to be paid. Also it will not have an effect on rental and sales prices for the time being.

Most likely this will change in the future but in all objectivity there is of course quite a difference in energy cost for heating houses between properties located in Scandinavian countries or Mediterranean countries.

Our involvement:

As estate agents we are allowed to organise the necessary paperwork and through our APEMIP organisation have managed to make special deals with a group of qualified people to carry out the inspection.

In the spread sheet below you will find the price list including fees of Engineers, taxes to State and our fees.

In case you wish to involve us we will organise all necessary paperwork and inspection. Accompany the inspector to the house and provide you with all necessary documents as set by law.

Dwellings for permanent livingPre-CertificaatCertificaatADENERAIncl.
Apartment T0 up to 50 m²110 1505475279
Apartments T0 en T1150 1905495339
Apartment T2 en T3180 22054110384
Apartment T 4+ up to 300 m²210 25054125429
House (up to 200m² and 1 story)210 25054125429
House up to 500m²260 30054150504
Other houses up to 1000 m²360 40054200654
Issuing of final certificate after  pré-certificaat40  54  
Issuing of certificate of renewal / update90 9054  
Factories / Offices     Excl.
Factories/Offices till 200 m²165 200250100550
Factories/Offices between 200–500 m²215 250250125625
Factories/Offices between 500–1000 m²315 350250175775
Issuing of final Certificate (after pré-Cer)33,33  250125408,33
Issuing of up-dated certificate75 75250125450


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