Proposed EPC is not mandatory for all buildings

An energy performance certificate is a document, valid up to 10 years, with information on the energy performance of a building (or a part of it) and recommendations for cost effective improvements to that performance.

Following the Directive 2010/31/EU, the present Slovenian Energy Act and relating regulations stipulate that an EPC is in principle mandatory for newly-built buildings, lease (to a new tenant for a year or longer) or sale of buildings, or for public buildings with an area over 500 m2 (respectively 250 m2 from 9 July 2015), in which the EPC must be clearly displayed. An EPC is not required for buildings protected under cultural heritage regulations or those used as places of worship and for religious activities. Similarly, an EPC is not mandatory for industrial buildings and storage facilities, as well as for specific non-residential agricultural buildings, buildings with a floor plan of less than 50 m2,or simple construction works.

Where an EPC is mandatory, the property owners must ensure that the relevant EPC information is included when advertising the real properties for sale or lease. From 24 February 2015, owners will have to submit the EPC to their counterparties no later than at the signing of the respective agreements. If not, a fine in the amount of EUR 250 for advertising without the EPC and, respectively, EUR 300 for not providing it with the transaction is applicable.

Booming business for experts

As a public document, the EPC shall be issued by an authorized organization and carried out by a licensed expert. The register of authorized organizations is published by Slovenia's Ministry for Infrastructure.

The basis for an EPC is documentation that reflects the building’s actual state. The experts also need to perform data analysis of the building and its energy use, and – except where expressly not required – an examination of the building and its facilities. The prices for EPC assessments are currently still regulated. E.g. depending also on the volume of work and provided documentation, the costs for an EPC for an apartment of 60 m2/single-unit house of 200 m2/smaller apartment building are ca. EUR 200/250/1,000, respectively. The average time needed to acquire an EPC is rumoured to be two weeks.

Not enough time for everything

According to the information that is publicly available, the sale and lease of apartments in Slovenia has been hindered on account of the need to acquire EPCs. Although the relevant EPC measures were implemented in the national legislation already in 2006 and heavily reported by the media starting 2013, most of the interested public only took first steps to acquire EPCs in late December 2014. The reason for this may also be found in the newly-introduced possibility of obtaining an EPC only for a part of a building. However, this approach is only possible in those cases in which condominiums are established and the technical characteristics of the building and its embedded systems enable a comprehensive analysis of the energy efficiency of the building’s individual parts.

An EPC is considered to have been issued when it is entered into the EPC register. A register that includes all issued EPCs and is publicly available on the web to everyone has not yet been established. Until that is the case, the entry into the register is replaced by submitting an EPC in writing to the Ministry for Infrastructure, which is obliged to establish the register by the end of 2015.

Conclusion

Time will show whether EPCs are only an additional hidden tax and unnecessary expense or if energy efficient real properties will attain a better value and provide new owners and tenants a clearer picture on a building’s energy efficiency and necessary future interventions. Undoubtedly, once it is established, the EPC register will help with all of this.