Is an Energy Efficiency Certificate (EEC) the same as a Technical Building Inspection Certificate for a property in Spain?
In June 2013, Spain introduced a new law (Real Decreto 235/2013) which obliged property owners to obtain Energy Efficiency Certificates (EEC's) before they could sell or rent their homes, in line with other European countries.
An Energy Efficiency Certificate (EEC) is known in Spanish as a CEE, which is short for “Certificado de Eficiencia Energética”. One of these is required in order to market a property for sale or rent. However in 2018, five years after the law was passed, many home owners are still unaware that this is a legal requirement under EU law.
In Spain, the EEC sometimes gets confused with the ITE (Inspección Técnica de Edificios) or Technical Building Inspection Certificate. Both certificates are valid for 10 years but there are many differences. An ITE is only necessary for buildings that are more than 45 years old. The main legal difference is that an unfavourable ITE forces the owner to undertake works in the property, whereas the EEC only suggests improvements which are not mandatory. The ITE requires collaboration with the architect who undertakes the survey in order to obtain a favourable result if the building requires work. With the EEC, the only thing required is to obtain the certificate itself and have it registered with the appropriate administration.
In many cases when renting, owners ignore the obligation to apply for an EEC. This is an easy mistake to make since so far the government has not closely regulated the certificates and certificated properties. However, local governments are becoming more proactive and under the Law 8/2013, of June 26, fines up to 6,000 € can become payable.
Stan Dickens (FRICS) is a UK qualified Chartered Surveyor who has practiced in Spain and Portugal since 1989.