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Can the EPB certificate help calculate my future energy consumption?

Last updated on 28 May 2021

No, but the EPB certificate will help you compare the energy performance of properties you are considering buying or renting.

Since 2011, the Energy Performance Certificate for Buildings (EPB) has been mandatory for buying or renting a property in the Brussels-Capital Region. It concerns any dwelling of 18m² (or more) or an office of more than 500 m² for sale or rent.

What is the purpose of the EPB certificate?

The EPB certificate assesses the Energy Performance of Buildings (EPB), under standard conditions of use and climate. It allows prospective buyers or renters of a property to view its energy performance and to compare it with other properties.

Learn more about the calculation method and the regulations.

How should an EPB certificate be interpreted?

Energy class: A to G

The EPB certificate assigns a score to the dwelling or office concerned in the form of a letter:

  • from A++: best score
  • to G: very energy-intensive

These letters correspond to standardised consumption. This is calculated by a software programme, based on technical information collected during the visit by the certifier.

Primary energy consumption: indicative

The consumption shown on the certificate is theoretical. Its purposes is to help compare the energy performance of different properties under standard conditions.

The big advantage is that the certificate provides a result that does not take account of the behaviour of previous occupants or of an exceptional climatic year. It is therefore more reliable than, for example, consulting the energy bills of the previous occupants of the premises.

The EPB does not enable you to assess your future consumption

It depends on your habits:

On the other hand, it will help you to:

  • get an idea of the performance and condition of the property
  • compare the performance of the property with that of similar dwellings in the neighbourhood
  • help you make choices: to buy a property with a high energy performance label (the better the indicators, the lower the energy bills) or to accept a property with worse labels. You will then have higher energy costs, unless you make investments to improve the situation.
  • identify ways to improve your energy efficiency: the certificate issued by the independent expert tasked with the inspection includes advice on how to make your home energy efficient.

Thinking of buying or renting? Always insist on seeing the EPB!

Since 1 January 2015, in the Brussels Region, advertisements for the sale and rental of real estate must mention its energy performance. The EPB certificate must therefore be available when a building is put up for sale or rent.

The EPB certificate is valid for 10 years provided that Brussels Environment has not invalidated it following work that has altered the energy performance of the property.

Please note that the wording 'EPB in progress' or 'awaiting EPB' on the advertisement is not acceptable and is considered as a clear failure of communication. Moreover, sanctions are provided for each advertisement published without reference to the EPB certificate.

Learn more about the owner's EPB obligations
More information on the Brussels Environment website

Goal: an average EPB of C+ in Brussels!

Brussels' buildings are among the most energy-intensive in Europe, as they were mainly built in the 1960s. One-third of buildings are not insulated at all. RENOLUTION, the Brussels-Capital Region's Renovation Strategy, aims to accelerate the rate of building renovation.

What is the goal? An average EPB level of C+ for Brussels buildings, i.e. an average consumption of 100 kWh/m² per year.

Please note that not all dwellings will have to achieve the same EPB level. For example, this would be impossible for certain listed monuments.

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