Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
Mandatory when selling and renting out buildings
The Energy Performance Certificate was introduced to boost the energy efficiency of buildings.
- Since 1st November 2008, an EPC is mandatory when selling houses and flats. *From 2022 onwards, only EPCs issued after 01/01/2019 will be considered in sales situations. The new EPC must already be in in effect when the property is placed on sale.
- From 1st January 2009, an EPC is mandatory when renting out houses and flats.
- From 1st January 2012, the calculated energy consumption (= ratio) and the address of the dwelling unit, or the unique EPC code must be included when advertising properties for sale or rent. *The EPCs drawn up after 1st January 2019 also contain a label ranging from A+ (excellent) to F (very poor).
- From 2020, small non-residential units must also have an EPC in order for them to be sold or rented.
- From 2022, apartment buildings must have an EPC corresponding to the common areas. This is a general obligation, and it is not associated with sales and rentals. On the initiative of Flemish Minister for Energy, Zuhal Demir, the obligation will be introduced in phases, taking the size of the residential building into account. See an overview of the phases below.
- From 1st April 2022, an EPC will also be compulsory for unadvertised sales transactions, as well as for long-term leases and the transfer of surface rights.
- From 2023, the EPC will be introduced for large non-residential units. These EPCs will be drawn up by a certified type D energy efficiency expert.
- EPC residential: single-family house, flat, studio, collective residential building.
- EPC non-residential:
- Small (no larger than 500 m²): shop, newsagent, bakers, butcher’s, pharmacy, offices, healthcare centre…
- Large (larger than 500 m²): school, office building, hospital…
* From 1st January 2022, renovation is compulsory for all non-residential buildings.
Within a maximum period of five years after a property is transferred it must comply with energy saving measures. In addition, small non-residential buildings must obtain energy label C or higher from 2022, and large non-residential buildings must provide a minimum share of renewable energy from 2023.
- EPC building common area: residential and non-residential
The EPC is drawn up on a per-building basis. The building itself is independent of the co-ownership structure and therefore the obligation is considered as separate from the sale or rental transactions.
The date on which EPC is required, depends on the number of building units.
|Date on which the EPC is required||Number of building units|
|01/01/2022||15 building units or more|
|01/01/2023||5 to 14 building units|
|01/01/2024||2 residential units up to 4 building units|
To inform prospective buyers and tenants about the energy efficiency of the residential unit or building that they intend to purchase or rent.
To encourage the owners of less energy efficient building units to make energy saving investments.
- Undergo an on-site building inspection.
- Measure and examine the floors, walls, roof, windows and doors, insulation materials, heating installations, sanitary installations, etc.
- Input data into a government-provided software.
- Calculate the energy score and layout of the EPC, including a photograph of the building.
- Draft the EPC.
- Sign the EPC.
- Hand the building over to the owner.
Ensuring that you have the following information or documents may facilitate on-site visits:
- As-built plans of the building, sketches, etc.
- Planning application or permit.
- Invoices and quotes from contractors, building materials, insulation materials, heating and sanitary installations.
- Technical documentation corresponding to the materials used in the heating system, specifications, measurements, relevant photographs and all other useful information regarding the building.
Note:Quotations are not accepted as legal evidence unless an invoice is also attached, or unless it is verified that the quotation has been fulfilled.
However, official invoices from contractors are considered legally valid as long as they indicate the address for which the EPC has been drawn up.
The original EPC will be handed over to the current owner and they will transfer it to the new owner when signing the notarial deed.
The original EPC is handed over to the owner, who must show it to the tenant upon request.
Note: It is advisable for landlords or vendors to get a new EPC drawn up whenever they make energy-saving investments (better energy dwelling score, better positioning on the real estate market!). Do you have a property with a poor energy performance according to an EPC drawn up in 2019 or later? If within a maximum period of 5 years you renovate the property and manage to significantly improve the EPC label, you will be eligible to receive a premium from 2021.
The EPC is valid for 10 years (also for future new sales or leases of the building).
A type A energy expert, recognised by the Flemish government and who holds a license number.
- The building’s identification data, address and building type.
- A figure in kWh/m² (= energy score) *EPCs drawn up after 1st January 2019 include another label with a rating from A+ (excellent) to F (very poor).
- This rating incorporates a colour bar from green (= very high energy efficiency) to red (= very low energy efficiency).
- The party responsible for drafting the certificate, the energy expert’s data.
- Details of energy loss.
- A number of recommendations for energy-saving investments.
An EPC is mandatory for buildings that are occupied by public organisations that provide public services to a large number of people. The EPC for a public building is drawn up by a certified type C energy expert or by an internal energy expert, and it is based on the organisation’s measured (actual) annual consumption.