Spain to rate housing energy efficiency

Certification required in all new residential buildings from 2001, existing ones within five years

From next year all new houses in Spain will be required to undergo an energy efficiency certification process as part of a wider government effort to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the country's industry ministry has announced.

Certificates rating residential buildings' energy efficiency on a scale of five to ten will be issued by regional authorities in accordance with criteria established by the industry ministry's Institute for Energy Saving and Diversification (IDAE). Certification will also be carried out on existing properties, initially on a voluntary basis, but as a legal requirement "within five years".

According to Juan Antonio Alonso of IDAE, the scheme will help to reduce the current 31.3m tonnes of CO2 released annually by Spanish buildings because it will make "the housing market more transparent by increasing buyers' awareness of domestic energy costs". But Spanish housebuilders and developers have criticised the scheme, claiming that a constant increase in government regulation is pushing up house prices in an already inflationary market.

The government's initiative will implement an element of the EU's 1996 directive on energy efficiency improvements (Save II) that requires member states to establish national programmes for establishing energy certification of buildings.

Follow Up:
IDEA, tel: +34 91 456 4900.

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