We recently considered putting our house on the market – and have since changed our minds and are firmly staying put as we love where we are and our house. But we will share the information we learned along the way with you in the hope that the information we share may be of help to others also intending to sell – or buy – a property out here.
One of the first things we encountered is a new law passed which affects all property owners with a house to sell – with effect from the 1st December 2013 it is now a legal requirement for all property that is being commercially advertised for sale – or to rent – to have an Energy Performance Certificate.
The ‘Sistema de Certificação Energética dos Edifícios – or SCE – is valid for 10 years and measures the energy efficiency of a property on a scale of A+ (top rating) to G (lowest rating).
To be honest, it appears to be a rather crude tool, which looks at the construction of your home, its energy consumption, heat output and insulation, and the ability to produce hot water via a boiler, alongside the position and location of your home and even its sun exposure.
You will need to provide the following documentation:
Land registration documents – the ‘Caderneta Predial Urbana’ and the ‘Certidão de Registo da Conservatória’;
and Plans of the house;
There are also optional architect project plans and insulation project plans which if you have them you can also provide.
Any architect or engineer recognised by the Portuguese Associations; ie the Ordem dos Engenheiros and the Ordem dos Arquitectos; can carry out the survey as long as they are qualified to do so.
The Certificate is issued by ADENE, and the fines for failing to have a valid certificate for individuals can be up to €3,740; and for agencies the fines range from €2,500 to a staggering €45,000. Trust me – an agency is not going to let you advertise your property for sale with them now unless you have a certificate!
We initially contacted an engineer recommended to us by an agency – and soon discovered some problems! First off, the engineers used to charge for the certificate on a sliding scale of prices based on the m². size of your house and we were told that our townhouse would cost €275.00 – a lot of money!! We were then quoted €330.00 as they have now decided that they will calculate it according to the number of bedrooms you have (we have 4) – we were not happy!
Added to that we were warned that since this new law was passed (enforceable since the 1st December 2013) – surprise surprise – everyone is busy trying to get a certificate and that it could take up to 2 months to process.
After 10 days of e-mails and negotiations with this engineer we gave up – and contacted someone else!
We struck gold second time around and found a young Portuguese man who is obviously willing to work long hours and provide a good standard of service – he was polite, efficient and professional – we booked him and he gave us a date within 3 days to visit our house, and only 10 days later we had our Energy Certificate – for a total cost of €195.00
We have been contacted so many times for the details of the young man that completed our Energy Certificate for us – and we have been very happy to pass on that information. We’ve not heard anything but praise for him and his work!
You can find out all of his contact information via his listing in our algarvedirectory pages – click here
So now we have our certificate – and it lasts for 10 years so we’ll keep it safe in case we do decide to sell in the future! But for now – we can continue to enjoy this view every morning!
Very useful information. Even more reason for us to stay put, though. I doubt our old house would even scrape a G rating!
Where are you hoping to move to?
not sure yet – one step at a time! definitely staying here though!
Do you still offer energy certification in the algarve, faro to Lagoa.?
You will need to contact Joao direct to ask him
Very interesting. Would quite like that to be mandatory here too.
it used to be that you had to have one before the point of sale – the change has been to make it necessary before you can even put your house on the market – which can be quite an expense to factor in even though you might not sell!
So how for how long is a certificate valid?
Does this apply even for very short term holiday rental properties of say just one night??
as far as I am aware – yes! The Portuguese consumer watchdog DECO states that “all immovable properties which are advertised for sale or rent must indicate their energy efficiency through this certificate” …
Great article and fantastic blog! Well done. Have sent you an email regarding engineer. I would love his details. M Beggs
thank you Maeve – have replied to your e-mail for you
Alyson and dave could I trouble you for his email address and when is the deadline to have this energy certificate in place, thank you with very kind regards, Ann.
as far as I know it must be in place before you can advertise for sale or rent … it lasts 10 years though!
I’ll send you his details via email ..
thank for the info! we’re looking into buying a vacation home, that we can also rent out. I had no idea what the big F was in the description of the home we’ve been eyeing. yikes, now we know. but, what does it actually mean to have the lowest rating of efficiency? no hot water at all? no heat?
I don’t know to be honest – G is the lowest possible rating – the #certificate# is actually a booklet and should tell you quite a lot about the property if that helps you to decide?
Now find your dream home in Portugal in your reasonable price and all describrd matter is very useful & interesting. Thanks a lot!!
you’re welcome! you might want to advertise on our new algarvedirectory.com
The energy certificate is nothing but baligerent theft, there in no methology, no pessure tests, no caculations of heat loss or BTU’s req’d for a given space and of people or coificients for the building materials. Most apliance manufatures are far better qualified to inform me of a product’s consuption than any engineer and i know how to read. It is a circus at best and it should be chanlanged in court whether or not the state to even has the right to impose such a thing. I have seen ruins advertised in agencies with a certificate. Why? Just a tax grab and make shift government employment program. Another reason to look else where to live than in Portugal.
thank you for sharing your views … at present there is a requirement for a certificate – and we see no reason for that to change in the near future … there are always hoops to jump through in all countries …I believe it is a European requirement not just for Portugal!
Mr. Just A. Citizen
Yes you are absolutely correct, it is a European requirement! But ask yourself, is it serving the public or just a belligerent tax grab? If I have a G rating (lowest rating) and I renovate and improve, what then? Another 300 Euros for a new certificate! I have been on two different inspections alongside the engineers making the report and I could not believe flagrant lying that was taking place. These two fine professionals show up at their inspection equipped with only a camera? Check if the windows are double pain and looking for manufacture’s markings, take pictures of the water heater, fridge and copy the energy ratings by the manufacturer, a farce at it very best. I did not identify myself but I have worked in engineering for almost 30 years and good many years designing and developing industrial air conditioning equipment for public institutions i.e. hospitals, shopping centers etc. and I know a thing or two. Secondly, I am Canadian and I have seen how new construction is tested for energy efficiency and in a Canadian winter it not a matter of comfort but mere survival. At the very minimum they could done a simple pressure test, but not even that!!! In Canada when renting or buying property one asks for a year or two of the utility bills which is a far better measure than most inspections. This speaks mountains on the integrity of both the professional orders who lack the back bone to stand up and denounce the government and those who impose and monitor the certification process but instead choose to profit by it. Did you know that ADENA is a private company and not a government body? Ask yourself what are their motives?
I think you answered your own question here! there are many ‘belligerent tax grabs’ in existence! … I doubt very much we will change things …
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Excluído do SCE, ao abrigo do artigo 4º, do Decreto-Lei Nº 118/2013, de 20 de Agosto.
Excluded from the SCE, under article 4, of Decree-Law No. 118/2013, of August 20.
We are currently looking at buying a property in Portugal. This is what the real estate agent provided with respect to the required SCE. Don’t know what the Decree says but for some reason having an SCE does not seem to apply to all properties being put up for sale.
We don’t know! we thought all properties had to have one .. but we have asked your question over to someone that should know the answer .. will get back to you on here again shortly .. hopefully with an answer!
Hello yes the answer is pretty straightforward as we thought:
All properties need them – ONLY The ruínas and houses that are less than 50 m² are exempt
hope that helps
Hi: we have encountered a problem here. We are in the process of buying and found that the agent does not have an EPC for the property. They thus are contravening EU law. They have even suggested that we as purchasers pay to get one before the Escetura can be signed. This practice seems to be common in Portugal and agents are risking the Euro 45 000 fine. How and to whom can you report them?
have not come across this before – the national agency is ADENE – here is the link to their website