All about energy in Brussels. A Sibelga initiative
en menu
Logo energuide

What is the EPB certificate?

Energy label

The EPB certificate (energy performance of buildings) is the energy ID card of a building. In Brussels it is compulsory for all buildings that are to be sold or rented

Like the label on household electrical appliances, buildings are classified on a scale from A (very energy-saving building) to G (very energy-intensive building). This makes comparing housing units with one another a lot easier.

Attention, the EPB certificate is not a tool to forecast how much a housing unit will cost in energy. This in fact depends largely on the hours, habits and lifestyle of the occupants. An EPB certificate is not an energy audit either, even it makes certain recommendations aimed at saving energy.

When is an EPB certificate compulsory?

Since 2011, all homes (of over 18m2) and all offices (of more than 500 m2) in the Brussels-Capital Region have to have an EPB certificate before they can be put up for rent or sale.

It is drawn up by an independent expert trained and approved by Bruxelles Environnement after an in-depth technical examination of the premises. The official document certifying to the energy performance of the building is valid for ten years, unless the energy properties of the building are altered (boiler replaced, for example). In this case, it has to be updated before any further real estate transactions can be carried out. This can be done either by the expert who has drawn up the previous certificate (which will be cheaper as the document only needs a minor update), or by a new expert (more expensive as he has to start from scratch).

1. Renting

  • The announcements or advertisements have to give the energy class (from A to G) as indicated on the EPB certificate. As of 1 January 2017 these no longer need to mention the CO2 emission. Only the energy class remains mandatory.
  • A copy of the EPB certificate has to be handed to the tenant when the lease is signed. If he does not have one, the owner may be given a criminal penalty which may be converted into an administrative fine.
  • The lease has to indicate the EPB classification.

2. Selling

  • The announcements or advertisements have to give the energy class (from A to G) indicated on the EPB certificate. In case of a public auction sale, a copy must be included with the specifications.
  • Copies of the certificate have to be available for potential buyers
  • The buyer receives the certificate from the notary public when the final deed is signed. If the EPB certificate is not available, the  notary public is obliged to inform Bruxelles Environnement/Leefmilieu Brussel of this. The sale will not be cancelled, but owners who are unable to supply the EPB certificate may incur a criminal penalty or an administrative fine.

How is the certificate drawn up?

The expert trained and approved by Bruxelles Environnement uses a calculation method that takes account of all the energy that enters and leaves the building:

  • level of thermal insulation (thermal loss walls and their support structure);
  • ventilation and airtightness;
  • incoming solar energy (presence of solar panels or solar-powered boiler);
  • type of systems for heating, production of sanitary hot water and their yields;
  • cooling systems (if present);
  • presence of renewable energy sources.

Prepare thoroughly for the expert’s visit

The result of the EPB certification will also depend on the documents submitted by the owner to the issuer. The expert cannot rely exclusively on a visual inspection and needs to find proof based on the documents.

If the issuer of the certificate does not have the necessary documents which prove the presence of insulation or which are capable of furnishing proof of other elements, he will be forced to enter standard values which will negatively impact the final EPB certificate.

View the fact sheet about the EPB certificate

Don't miss our new tips

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay informed about energyfacts.

We promise we will only use your data to send you our newsletter as stated in our privacy policy.

Did you find this article useful?
How could this article be improved?

We promise we will only use your data to send you our newsletter as stated in our privacy policy.

Tips on how to save energy!

We promise we will only use your data to send you our newsletter as stated in our privacy policy.