Monday, February 21, 2011

DPE - Certificate of energy efficiency

Since January 2011, all French properties offered for sale or rental must include a certificate of energy efficiency (DPE) in the property description, whether offered privately or through an estate agency. This is in addition to the technical reports (diagnostiques) already required covering lead, asbestos, termites, state of the electrical installation etc, with the added requirement that the DPE must be included in the property description as soon as it is advertised for sale or to let. Traditionally, the technical survey - which has to be commissioned and paid for by the vendor - was not done until a buyer had signed a pre-contract (compromis de vente) and was committed to purchase the property.

The new DPE uses a an efficiency scale from A (energy efficient) through to G (low energy efficiency) and the full report offers indications of what can be done to improve eneergy efficient, with estimates and costs and potential savings.

In practive energy savings may be quite small and can outweigh the cost of suggested improvements. While many properties in the Mediterranean south may be rated as energy inefficient, the low rating is unlikely to deter potential buyers looking for a second home, occupied largely during the warmer summer months. However, as more holiday properties become permanent homes and occupied all year round, would be purchasers should be aware that winters on the Mediterranean can be chilly for a few weeks either side of Christmas, though temperatures rarely drop below 1 degree C.