Page 42 - European Energy Innovation - Autumn 2015 publication
P. 42
Autumn 2015 European Energy Innovation


Perceptions versus real change

Is the building market ready to value energy efficiency?

By Cosmina Marian, Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE)

In the mist of European and transactions, and by providing considered whilst purchasing or
national legislation for energy recommendations for a cost- letting a property; evaluating the
efficiency improvements effective upgrading of the energy usefulness and credibility of EPCs;
in buildings, there is an performance. But there are still connection between the EPC and
unavoidable discrepancy created some gaps in fulfilling the full the exposure time of a property
by the readjustment of the market potential of the EPC scheme. on the market and barriers to a
and all concerned actors. These comprehensive implementation
requirements are supposed to A recent survey1, conducted of the EPC system.
motivate designers, developers, among real-estate agents from
real-estate managers and users to 8 Member States2 and with over The analysis of the survey
integrate considerations related to 610 respondents, points to a answers points to a set of
energy savings into their way of doing difficult time for the proper use of significant findings. While
business. But exactly how successful EPCs as instruments that create energy performance certification
have these endeavours been? market demand. Real-estate is compulsory in most of the
agents were asked to share their surveyed countries, there are still
The example of Energy opinion on energy certification exceptions to the rule. Moreover,
Performance Certificates (EPCs) and its influence on the real- while EPCs are compulsory, 6%
can point to a market trend. The estate market. More specifically, of the respondents indicated
main aim of an EPC is to act as agents were asked for their they were never necessary when
an information tool for building professional opinion on the main making a transaction in Poland.
owners, occupiers and real-estate factors that households consider
actors, displaying the building when selecting properties to rent Real-estate agents rate quite
level of energy consumption. or buy. low the usefulness of EPCs, only
Arguably this makes the EPC a slightly above one fourth of them
powerful market tool to drive up The main issues covered by saying otherwise (Figure 1). This
demand for energy efficiency the survey touched upon the is not surprising since there is
in buildings by targeting such following aspects: the level no distinguishable connection
improvements as a decision- of knowledge about EPCs as between the exposure time of a
making criterion in real-estate well as on the EPBD3; factors property on the market and its
EPC class (Figure 2). In the opinion
Figure 1. Real estate agents’ rating of the general usefulness of EPCs of those questioned, a higher
indicator of energy performance
for a building doesn’t translate
into greater interest in its
acquisition (Figure 3).

Most of the answers confirm
that there is a lack of knowledge
about the usefulness of an EPC.
Thus, the main elements taken
into account when purchasing
or letting a property remain the
location, price and size. Though,
agents are aware of the benefits
of having a high class EPC
pointing to lower energy costs
and a better technical condition
of the building.

% answers   Significantly higher/ lower score - total vs the country It is important to note that
most people can make rational
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