Thursday, August 19, 2010

Energy performance label for properties

After the 1st January 2011 an energy performance label will have to be included in descriptions of French properties offered for sale or to let (loi Grenelle 2). The label - rated from A to G - is similar to that already applied to domestic items such as a refrigerator and to new motor vehicles, and is designed to highlight whether a house or apartment is rated as 'energy efficient' or one that is likely to be expensive to heat. The French government emphasises that buildings are responsible for 21% of CO2 emissions and 43% of energy consumed.

Estate agens are already asking whether a poor rating will have an effect on the saleability of a property, and note that vendors will have to organise and pay for a 'diagnostic de performance énergétique' (DPE) before putting their property on the market.

Low ratings - E, F, G - indicating that a property is costly to heat, due for example to poor insulation, may encourage potential buyers or renters to ask for a reduction in the asking price, according to a spokeman for FNAIM, the main body representing estate agents in France.

The new regulations may give a boost to the market for new-build properties while having an adverse effect on un-renovated older properties, including many dating from the building boom of the 60s and 70s along the French Mediterranean coast.