The market is increasingly attentive to energy consumption and management issues.
An energy performance diagnosis ( “EPD”) was created and is provided for in Article L.134-3 of the French Construction and Housing Code. It is a requirement that the EPD document must be appended to the sale contract of any properties (since 1 November 2006) and to any lease contract upon its execution or renewal (since 1 July 2007). The EPD is valid for a period of 10 years.
This document is aimed at increasing the value of properties emitting only a small quantity of gases having greenhouse effects. Therefore, the objective is to encourage owners to carry out insulation works and to replace obsolete equipment with new items with greater efficiency (e.g. condensation boiler) or to install renewable energy production equipment (e.g. solar panel, wood burner, etc.).
The EPD document contains the following information: a description of the building’s main features and its thermal equipment; an estimate of the annual energy consumption and cost and a classification of the consumption per square metre according to the “energy label” principle (scale from A to G); an indication of the quantity of CO2 issued because of the said consumption with a classification according to a “climate label” scheme; and recommendations in order to control energy consumption, in particular with respect to the works that might need to be carried out in order to improve the building’s energy performance. The reading of the diagnosis is facilitated by a twin label and by a euro-denominated estimate.
Since 1 January 2011 it has been mandatory to display the EPD in advertisements (e.g. in a newspaper, website or in a show window) when selling or renting property.
Non-compliance with the obligations may give rise to criminal sanctions, i.e. the fine applicable to fifth-class offences. However the EPD is not mandatory as regards to the following properties: temporary constructions whose scheduled utilization period is no more than 2 years; self-standing buildings where the gross built area does not exceed 50 square metres; agricultural, crafts or industrial buildings that only require a small quantity of energy for heating, sanitary hot water production or cooling purposes (the buildings must not be used for residential purposes); and historical buildings and places of worship.
Furthermore, in the case of the rental of properties, the lessor must attach to the lease contract the lead exposure risk report (Articles L.1334-5 and L.1334-7 of the French Public Health Code )and the statement of natural and technological risks (Articles L.125-5, R.125-23 to R.125-27 of the French Code of the Environment). However the obligation to provide a lead exposure risk report applies only to properties used, in whole or in part, for residential purposes and built prior to 1 January 1949.