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What is the EPB certificate?

The EPB certificate (energy performance of buildings) is the energy ID card of a building. Like the label on household electrical appliances, it contains a classification scale from A (very energy saving) to G (very energy intensive).

The EPB certificate is compulsory for all buildings that are to be sold or rented. It is drawn up by an independent expert 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 if no alterations are made to the energy properties of the building.

An essential passport to be able to sell or rent

Since 2011, all homes (irrespective of the surface area) 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.

Energy label

1. Renting

  • The announcements or advertisements have to give the energy class (from A to G) and the CO2 emission indicated on the EPB certificate.
  • 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 and CO2 emissions.

2. Selling

  • The announcements or advertisements have to give the energy class (from A to G) and the CO2 emission indicated on the EPB certificate.
  • 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/Leefmilieu Brussel (website in French - architect, civil engineer, industrial engineer or bio-engineer) uses a calculation method that takes account of all the energy that enters and leaves the building:

On the basis of these properties, the building is then classified on a scale from A (very energy-saving building) to G (very energy-intensive building), according to the same principle as that applied for the energy labels on household electrical goods.

The certificate is passed on within ten working days of the certifier’s visit. It 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.

The EPB certificate is not…

  • a tool that can be used 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. However, it can be used to compare housing units with one another.
  • an energy audit, even it makes certain recommendations aimed at saving energy.

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