This is not new Portuguese legislation but intended to enact European Directive 2002/91/CE in Portugal
This Directive comes in response to the growing tendency in demand for cooling systems which have contributed to the tremendous increase of energy consumption by buildings with such systems. It is also in reply to the promises and responsibilities assumed by the European Union with respect to the Quioto Protocol for the control of emissions creating the “greenhouse effect” through more efficient energy management, thus reducing energy consumption.
The Regulation of Energetic Systems of Cooling in Buildings (RSECE) was enacted by Decree Law 79/2006, which constituted the rules for cooling systems installed in buildings to be constructed or in existing buildings.
At the same time, the Regulation for the Thermal Behaviour of Buildings (RCCTE) was enacted by Decree Law 80/2006 which is applicable to newly built, reconstructed, remodelled or enlarged buildings without any cooling system.
What is the energy certificate (CE)?
The certificate will be issued by a qualified expert, who will register such certificate with the Authority responsible (ADENE) after verifying the building. This certificate will grade the thermal behaviour and the energetic efficiency of the building into classes designated from A to G.
The energy certificates are issued in respect of, amongst other cases, buildings already in existence for habitation or commercial use and which will require the certificate for the transfer of the asset from January 2009 onwards.
In which cases is the energy certificate (CE) required?
Under the terms of Decree Law 78/2006, the following situations are covered under the National System of Energy Certification and Air quality within Buildings:
Existing buildings subject to large refurbishing work even if licensing is not required for such works;
Existing buildings subject to periodical inspections under the Terms of the Regulation;
Existing buildings for habitation at the time of the celebration of contracts of sale and purchase, letting and renting;
Existing buildings for commercial use on the celebration of contracts of purchase and sale, letting and renting.
When is the Certificate (CE) obligatory?
Following the legislation of 2006, which transposed to Portuguese law the European Directive, it was through By-Law 461/2007, successive dates established for the requirement of the certificate to be obtained:
Certain cases in which the construction permit has been requested and submitted after the 1st July 2007;
Certain cases in which the construction permit has been submitted after the 1st July 2008;
From the 1st January 2009 for all existing buildings.
Who should obtain the certificate (CE)?
The Promotor and owner of the building are responsible for obtaining the energy efficiency certificate. They should obtain the services of a qualified expert who will issue the energy and quality of interior air certificates. The expert who issues the document will register that after with the competent authority (ADENE).
What is the validity of the certificate?
The certificate has a validity of 10 years from issue in the case of buildings that are NOT subject to periodical inspections.
What is the consequence of the non fulfilment of obtaining a certificate?
It is an offence which can bring fines between 250 euros minimum increasing to 44.891,81 euros maximum according to whether it is an individual or a company, suspension of the use permit or even closure of the building.
In the case of existing buildings whereby the certificate is only required for the transmission of the asset, the transmission cannot take place without the exhibition of this document.