When in mid-2013, the law made it mandatory for all homes that were sold or rented to have an energy certificate, experts already warned that the application would not be widespread until the fines arrived. Well, that time has come. The handling of this document, which measures the degree of energy efficiency of buildings, depends on the autonomous communities and, therefore, it is very complicated to obtain homogeneous data from each and every one of them.

However, the Community of Madrid, one of the regions with the highest concentration of real estate activity in the country, has made public the details of the sanctioning cases it has undertaken to date

During 2014, the first full year in which this new requirement was in force, a total of 21 penalty proceedings were initiated, a figure that seems frankly minimal when compared to the total number of energy certificates issued, which amounted to 120,397 in that territory, according to the figures to which CincoDías had access. Thus, these processes barely represented 0.01% of the total number of documents granted, although this result does not mean that it is a consequence of the fact that almost all the certificates are correctly prepared. Of course, the inspection has started relatively recently and has not yet reached a large part of the market.

Of these 21 cases, nine were initiated for falsifying the information on the energy certificates, as it did not match the data later found by the Community's Directorate-General for Industry, Energy and Mines inspectors. On nine other occasions, the inspection concluded that the property to be renteddid not have the required certificate. And in the three remaining processes, the inspection decided to act upon the verification that the certifying technician who signed the document did not meet the legally established requirements (the enabling qualification) to be able to carry out these examinations of the homes and buildings.

Low ratings

Sources from the Ministry of Economy of the Government of Ignacio González specified that of these 21 open cases, 16 have already been concluded and a total of 14 offenders have been finally sanctioned, while the five remaining cases are still pending. The amount of the sanctions imposed was 601 euros for renting a flat without the required certificate, while in the cases in which the fine was for the unsuitability of the technician who issued the document or for falsifying the information relating to the property, the amounts ranged from 2,000 to 6,000 euros.

From the balance obtained in Madrid, it is also clear that despite the fact that there are many certificates processed, it is sufficient to compare this figure of 120,397 documents issued last year with the 44,231 houses that were sold in the region in the same period, according to the property registrars, sources of the Ministry of Economy warn that it is not possible to discern how many of them are for houses for sale and which are for rent. This information is not usually included in the certificate and in Spain there are still no official statistics on how many houses are rented. Incredible, but true. On the marks obtained, generalised failure, as 82% of the houses have one of the three worst marks. In fact, 17.6% of them get the worst, a G.

What should a proper evaluation include?

Al haberse instaurado la obligatoriedad de la evaluación energética de las viviendas en 2013, cuando lo peor de la crisis económica aún no había pasado, pronto se produjeron denuncias sobre la picaresca que comenzaba a invadir este negocio.

Primero, fueron las demandas de algunos colectivos profesionales sobre supuesto intrusismo de otros titulados y después se sucedieron las denuncias sobre empresas o autónomos que ofrecían realizar el certificado a precios anormalmente bajos, sin visita

With the introduction of mandatory energy assessment of homes in 2013, when the worst of the economic crisis had not yet passed, there were soon complaints about the picaresque business that was beginning to invade this area.

First, there were complaints from some professional groups about the alleged intrusion of other graduates and then there were complaints about companies or freelancers who offered to make the certificate at abnormally low prices, without visiting the property and others who even, a priori in their advertising, guaranteed the highest rating.

You should know that those who are authorized to carry out this evaluation are, fundamentally, architects and engineers. Also, technical architects, technical industrial engineers and other engineers and technicians with professional training, the latter in the category of assistants. Don't trust if you are charged less than 100 euros for a standard house of about 90 square meters (the price is set by the surface area to be analyzed) and if the technician assures you that it is not necessary for him to visit the property. Finally, once you have been given a letter on the rating scale, if it is among the lowest, a good certificate should include what improvements you should make to your home to achieve a better rating.

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