Investing in renewable energy and obtaining energy certification for properties are crucial strategies for enhancing energy efficiency.
Investing in renewable energy involves installing systems like solar panels, generating clean energy on-site, or minimizing the dependency of equipment on common energy sources. These systems significantly reduce reliance on traditional sources, resulting in long-term cost savings and potential income through surplus energy sales.
The energy certification for a property assesses its energy efficiency, providing a rating on energy performance by indicating the energy consumption and associated CO2 emissions. This certification uses a scale ranging from A+ (most efficient) to F (least efficient), like ratings for household appliances.
Conducted by a qualified technician visiting the property and doing some tests, the assessment analyses elements influencing energy consumption: thermal insulation, window types, heating and cooling systems, lighting, among others. Essentially, the energy certificate evaluates energy consumption and efficiency in using energy for various purposes.
Following this evaluation, the document offers recommendations to improve the property’s energy efficiency, identifying areas for enhancement. Suggestions may include improving insulation, replacing heating or cooling systems with more efficient alternatives, or utilizing renewable energy sources.
Access to the energy certification prior to purchasing a property empowers buyers with essential knowledge about the property, potentially increasing its value in the real estate market, especially in areas where fiscal policies are linked to energy efficiency.
Since you have your property, have you revisited your energy certification?
This evaluation helps homeowners identify areas for improvement and implement measures to enhance property efficiency, with numerous companies solely dedicated to providing this service.
Hence, investing in renewable energy and obtaining energy certification are vital strategies for homeowners seeking cost reduction, increased property value, and contributing to a more sustainable environment.
In certain countries, energy certification can impact Council Tax on properties, such as in Portugal. Properties with higher ratings, i.e., more efficient ones, may receive fiscal benefits, like Council Tax discounts, aiming to stimulate energy efficiency improvements.
However, policies can vary between regions, so it’s crucial to check local laws to understand the impact on Council Tax costs.
In Portugal, energy certification can positively impact Council Tax for owners of more energy-efficient properties. Some areas offer Council Tax discounts, sometimes up to 25% over 10 years, to higher-rated properties, encouraging investments in energy efficiency. The government creates a series of incentives for these improvements, focusing precisely on the foundational elements influencing energy certification: windows, insulation, renewable energies, and heating systems.
Let’s discuss how solar systems and heat pumps contribute to these improvements, being included in these programs and often easily adaptable and installable.
The frequent mention of solar panel installations is intentional, as they can significantly enhance a property’s energy rating. However, their exact impact on the energy certificate depends on various factors like solar system size, panel efficiency, heating or cooling types, and the property’s energy demand.
Solar panels generally significantly improve a property’s energy efficiency. They reduce reliance on traditional energy sources, generate clean energy and, if appropriately sized, can elevate the energy rating. Assessors consider the energy generated by panels in relation to the property’s total consumption when evaluating their impact on the energy certificate. If solar panels satisfy a significant portion or all the energy demand, this can result in an improved energy rating. Importantly, the energy certificate assessment covers all aspects of a property’s energy efficiency, not solely the energy source used.
Likewise, heat pumps, increasingly prevalent in property constructions or enhancements, offer a sustainable and energy-efficient alternative. Operating by transferring heat from one source to another environment using minimal electrical energy, they significantly reduce the energy required for maintaining a comfortable environment. This reduction in energy consumption can lead to lower energy costs and contribute to a more favourable energy rating for the property.
Therefore, while solar panels and heat pumps can positively impact energy efficiency, other factors like insulation, equipment efficiency, and property design also influence the final energy rating.
The energy efficiency of your property is crucial, not only because it directly affects operational cost reduction but also enhances its value.
Therefore, it becomes increasingly important to raise awareness not only in terms of construction but also in terms of renovation, considering the use of such equipment that ultimately makes your property greener, more sustainable, saving both the environment and your money.
I challenge you to look at your home’s energy certificate and begin improving it from there … with a completely guided foundation.
By Isa Conceição
Isa Conceição is the CEO of Soren – Renewable Energy Solutions, based in Almancil. She assists individual customers and small businesses seeking renewable energy solutions across Portugal. +351 910 030 423 | [email protected] | www.soren.pt