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Energy performance certificates in Germany

By Benjamin Steiner
Reading time: 3 minutes

An energy performance certificate is a document showing the energy consumption of a building. It is mandatory when selling or renting out real estate in Germany.

What is an energy performance certificate?

An energy performance certificate shows the energy consumption or energy efficiency of a building. Its purpose is to allow potential buyers or tenants to better compare different offers. 

 

Is an energy performance certificate mandatory for me? 

In Germany, an energy performance certificate is mandatory when selling or renting out real estate. Since 2014 the energy standard of a building even has to be included in the real estate ad itself. As a seller, you are responsible for providing accurate and valid information. If you neglect these duties, you risk a heavy fine of up to 15.000 euros. 

 

Which buildings are exempt? 

For the following categories of buildings, no energy performance certificate is required: 

  • Monuments, listed buildings
  • Small buildings with a living area of up to 50m²
  • Unheated buildings 

Good to know: If you already live in your own property and don’t plan to sell, there is no need to obtain an energy performance certificate!


Which types of energy performance certificate are there in Germany?

There are two types of energy performance certificate that differ in the way the data is obtained: 

  • “Energiebedarfsausweis”: With this type of energy performance certificate, the energy consumption of a building is calculated from its constituent parts, such as the heating, the windows and the insulation. This type of energy certificate may be used for any building. However, it is also the more expensive alternative (around 400 to 500 €). 
  • “Energieverbrauchsausweis”: This type of energy certificate is based on past consumption billing. In order to issue this type of certificate, bills from three consecutive years are required, the most recent of which may be no older than 18 months. Because this type of certificate doesn’t require as much work from the issuing expert, it is less expensive (around 50 to 100 €). 

 

Which type of energy performance certificate is required in my case? 

The type of energy performance certificate is generally up to the owner, with the following exceptions:

  • If the planning application / building permit application of a building is from before 1 November 1977 and the building contains fewer than five apartments, the “Bedarfsausweis” (i.e. the certificate based on the calculated performance) is mandatory, unless the thermal insulation of the building has been brought up to post-1977 regulatory standards since. 
  • For buildings younger than three years, a usage based certificate cannot be issued, since the required energy consumption bills are not yet available. 


 

How long is an energy performance certificate valid? 

In general, an energy certificate is valid for 10 years from the date of issue. However, if extensive renovations have been carried out in the meantime, the energy certificate may no longer be valid. 
 

How can I obtain an energy performance certificate for my property?

Only experts with specific backgrounds may issue an energy certificate. These include architects, engineers, physicists as well as tradesmen from relevant fields. However, there is no licensing system and no official registry. This means that it is your responsibility to choose a reliable issuer that actually meets the legal requirements. 

Be extra wary of discount offers and of issuers who request too little data about your property. These are very likely to be scams. 

Here (1, 2), you will find a database of trustworthy offers (in German only). 
 

What is the cost of an energy performance certificate? 

A “Bedarfsausweis” (energy certificate based on calculated performance) typically costs between 400 and 500 euros. A “Verbrauchsausweis” (energy certificate based on historical energy consumption) costs around 50 to 100 euros. 

 

Benjamin Steiner
Benjamin Steiner
Content Specialist

Benjamin holds a master's degree from the University of Zurich and has many years of experience as a writer and editor. At Neho, he researches current events and trends in the real estate industry and translates them into easily understood blog articles.

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Contents
  • What is an energy performance certificate?
  • Is an energy performance certificate mandatory for me? 
  • Which buildings are exempt? 
  • Which type of energy performance certificate is required in my case? 
  • How long is an energy performance certificate valid? 
  • How can I obtain an energy performance certificate for my property?
  • What is the cost of an energy performance certificate? 

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