Fine for lack of energy label increased

Dian de Leeuw-den Hoed  |  11 March 2022  |  Reading time: approximately 3 minutes

When a building is delivered, sold or rented out, one must not forget the required energy label and the obligation to mention this label in the advertisement. If these rules are violated, the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (Inspectie Leefomgeving en Transport (ILT)) may impose a fine. Please mind that this fine has been increased since 1 November 2021. What is more, since 1 January 2021, a new, more labour-intensive method of establishing the energy label has also applied. An additional obligation applies to offices: in 2023, at least energy label C must be established. Would you like to know more? Read on below.

What is an energy label?

An energy label is a written statement indicating the energy performance of a building. The energy performance is established or calculated based on the amount of energy required for the normal use of the building. For this purpose, the energy used for heating, cooling, ventilation, hot water supply and lighting of the building are considered. On and from January 2021, an energy label will be based on the amount of fossil energy used (expressed in kilowatt hours per square metre per year).

A letter is linked to the label: from A (most energy‑efficient) to G (least energy‑efficient). The statement also contains recommendations for making the building more energy‑efficient. An established energy label is valid for 10 years.

Mandatory energy label

The Energy Performance (Buildings) Decree (Besluit energieprestatie gebouwen (‘Beg’)) stipulates when an energy label is required: upon delivery, rent and sale of a building. In addition, it is mandatory to have an energy label for a building that is used for more than 250 m² by a government agency and is frequently visited by the public.

When you offer a building for sale or rent, you are obliged to mention the energy label in the advertisement. Since 1 January 2021, due to changes in the establishment of the energy label, the application process takes much longer. The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) has therefore indicated that it will not enforce the obligation to mention a valid energy label in the advertisement until 1 January 2022. However, the valid label must be handed over when the property is transferred. If a valid label has already been issued, the energy label must be mentioned in the advertisement.

If no valid energy label is available when a property is delivered or sold, the ILT may impose an administrative fine. As of 1 November 2021, the fines have been increased in a policy rule and set at € 435 for natural persons. When a company (legal entity) sells a house without an energy label, a higher fine of € 870 applies.

Exceptions to the mandatory energy label

In some cases, no energy label needs to be handed over (Article 2.2 Energy Performance (Buildings) Decree). Exceptions to the energy label obligation are, for example, lock-up garages where no energy is used to regulate the indoor climate, listed buildings and holiday homes that are used less than four months per year and therefore have a low energy consumption.

Changes as of 1 January 2021

Since 1 January 2021, a new method (NTA 8800) to determine the energy performance of a building applies. From now on, an energy label must no longer be issued based on paper documents, but must be registered by a competent energy performance advisor. The advisor will come and inspect the property in person. The issue of an energy label will therefore be more labour-intensive and more expensive than before. You can find an energy performance advisor via the website of the Central Register of Technology.

When the new method was introduced, it turned out that there were not enough certified advisors available. A transitional arrangement therefore applied until 1 November 2021, giving advisors time to take the required exams.

Specific obligation for offices

For offices, an additional obligation applies on and from 1 January 2023: in order to be allowed to use an office building, it must have a valid energy label C or better. The obligation is included in article 5.11 of the 2012 Buildings Decree (Bouwbesluit 2012). There is an exception for buildings of which the office functions constitute less than 50% of the total usable area, offices that are smaller than 100 m² and buildings that are exempt from the energy label obligation on the grounds of the Energy Performance (Buildings) Decree.

Do you have any questions? Please contact Dian de Leeuw-den Hoed.

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