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Energy Certificate: What is it and what is it for?

In Portugal, the energy certificate became mandatory by law in December 2013 for all properties whether for sale or lease, new or old.


What is the Energy Certificate?

The energy certificate is a document that attests to the energy efficiency of a property through a graded classification system of A-F, this allows us to distinguish the properties that are more energy efficient. This document is issued by the competent authority: the Energy Agency (ADENE). This document includes energy consumption characteristics related to air conditioning and domestic hot water, as well as measures to reduce energy consumption. Some of these measures can be, for example, the installation of double glazing or the reinforcement of insulation. This certificate is valid for 10 years for residential buildings and small commercial buildings and services.


Read also: Does energy efficiency generate savings?


What determines the energy class?


The energy classification of a building is determined by several factors, among them:


         Construction year;

         Location of the property;

         Type of housing: apartment or villa;

         Floor and housing area;

         Construction of the divisions, i.e., walls, roofs and floors;

         Air conditioning equipment: ventilation, cooling and heating;

         Materials associated with the production of hot sanitary water.



When is it necessary to request the energy certificate?


It is mandatory to have a certificate in the following situations:


1.       For new real estate;

2.       A real estate whose rehabilitation is equivalent to 25% of its value;

3.       Buildings of services or commerce that have a useful interior area equal to or greater than 1,000 m2;

4.       Buildings that house supermarkets, commercial centres or open swimming pools, whose useful interior area is equal to or greater than 500 m2;

5.       State buildings, occupied by a public entity and frequented by citizens, with a useful interior area of more than 500 m2;

6.       Properties that are placed on the market for sale or lease, being the responsibility of the owner to request the document;

7.       In cases of barter or trespass


As it is valid for 10 years, please note that it isn’t necessary to request an energy certificate each time the property is sold or leased.


How to apply and what documents do you need?


First, you should look for qualified experts in your area of residence through a search at Request certification as soon as you have the following documentation:


         Copy of the plan of the property;

         Urban Land Registry (available at the Finance Portal)

         Housing Technical File (Ficha Técnica da Habitação)

         Certificate of registration of the property in the Conservatory. (Certidão de registo)


After the survey is made on the visit to the property, the technician introduces the data collected in the National System for Energy Certification and Indoor Air Quality in Buildings. You can request a previous version before the energetic certificate is issued. Typically, in 2/3 days the document is released.


How much does it cost?


The registration and issuance fees of the certificate for a property and commercial building vary:







 ≥ T6

Utility area up to 250 m2

Utility area ≥ 5.000 m2

Private property





Commercial buildings and services
















This amount does not include VAT, as well as the cost of the service charged by the expert, which is not tabulated, so it is advisable to compare fees.

It is possible to be exempt from the fees if the building already presents an energy certificate and the indicated measures for the improvement of energy efficiency have been implemented. Another condition for exemption is to obtain a B- classification (at least) after implementation of these measures.



What is the value of fines for legal non-compliance?


For individuals, the fine varies between €250 and €3,740. For companies, the default value varies between €2,500 and €44,890.


Especially if you are going to buy a property, it is essential that you get to know everything about this document, as it is a way to save on monthly energy bills and be more environmentally friendly, for the recommendations included in the report. A building with a rating of A and A + allows a 10% valuation of a house, has tax benefits in IMI and IMT, as well as facilitating access to more favourable financial conditions.


Read also: Green housing credit arrives in Portugal