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Approved the Royal Decree that regulates the energy certification of buildings

On June 2, it was published in the BOE no. 131, Royal Decree 390/2021, of June 1, which approves the basic procedure for the certification of the energy efficiency of buildings. This Royal Decree repeals the previous one Royal Decree 235/2013 and presents several modifications that we will summarize in this article.

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What is this new Royal Decree about?

This update comes as a consequence of the approval of the new directive 2018/844 of the European Parliament, which replaced the directive 2010/27/EU related to energy efficiency.

He new Royal Decree 390/2021 comes to try to adapt European regulations to the Spanish legal system and adapt the Spanish energy certification regulatory framework to the European Green Deal (COM/2019/640), which aims to achieve, among other objectives, zero greenhouse gas emissions in the year 2050. 

In the first article of the document, an explicit reference is made to this point, as well as a definition very close to that established by the CTE regarding what it considers buildings with almost zero energy consumption:

 “Article 1. Object and purpose. 

The purpose of the approval of said Basic Procedure is to promote energy efficiency in buildings, as well as ensuring that the energy they use is mostly covered by energy from renewable sources, with the consequent reduction of CO2 emissions in the “building sector”

The new RD 390/2021 maintains a structure very similar to the previous one from 2013, dividing its content into the same 5 chapters but modifying some of the articles.

The articles are added:

  • Article 7. Centralized Administrative Registry of energy evaluation reports of buildings in electronic format (XML).

With the incorporation of this article, the aim is to centralize the registration of energy certificates in XML format, through a centralized registry of reports managed by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, the Administrative Registry.

  • Article 14. Financial incentives for improving energy efficiency in building renovation.

In any type of renovation of buildings, or part of them, public administrations will link financial incentives for improving energy efficiency to the energy savings planned or achieved, by comparing the energy efficiency certificates issued before and after of the reform or, alternatively, by one or more of the following criteria:

  1. The energy efficiency of the equipment or materials used for the renovation, in which case, the equipment or materials used for the renovation will be installed by an installer with the relevant level of certification or qualification.
  2. Its standard values for calculating energy savings in buildings.
  3. The results of a energy audit.
  4. The results of another relevant, transparent and proportionate method that shows the improvement in energy efficiency.

Main modifications

  • Article 13. Validity, renewal and updating of the energy efficiency certificate.

In point 1 of said article, the maximum validity of ten years is maintained for the energy certificate, although it is reduced to five in the case of having a G energy rating.

Although the main modification occurs in the Article 3. Scope of application. (Article 2, in RD235/2013)

  • Article 3. Scope of application.

The approval of this Royal Decree expands the park of buildings required to have a energy efficiency certification.

In this way, those buildings with a total useful area greater than 500 m² and intended for administrative, health, commercial, public residential, educational, cultural, recreational, logistics, hospitality or sports use must have their Energy Efficiency Certificate.

The same applies to buildings occupied by a public administration with a total useful area of more than 250 m², regardless of the frequency and influx of public there.

This is a measure that exceeds the minimum requirements at community level, in line with the commitment of the Public Administration to the energy efficiency of buildings.

In turn, those properties that must necessarily pass the Technical Building Inspection (ITE) and energy rehabilitations in the coming years will also be required to have this energy efficiency certification.

As additional comments, we must remember that with the previous update of the Technical building Code Several documents that are directly related to the energy certification procedure for buildings were updated, such as:

  • Technical conditions of the procedures for the evaluation of the energy efficiency of buildings. February 2020 

This document aims to collect the technical considerations related to the procedures for the energy efficiency assessment of buildings in Spain, either with the aim of using the results obtained for the energy certification of buildings or for the verification of the regulatory requirements of the Basic Document DB-HE of the CTE.

  • Building energy assessment report in electronic format (XML). February 2020.

This document lays the foundation for updating the XSD data schema of the XML report (v2.1) referred to in RD 390.

Other documents that may be susceptible to updating are:

  • Rating of the energy efficiency of buildings.  

This document establishes the methodology to carry out an energy rating expressible in the form of letters and indicators that provide relevant information to the end users of the buildings. This document makes direct reference to RD 235/2013.

Energy efficiency and renewable energy engineer

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