Jovana Čapaković • oct 18, 2023
Energy passports are a powerful tool for assessing residential energy efficiency.
These passports, formally termed ‘energy efficiency certificates’ in Serbian law, were introduced in 2010. At the time, they were mandatory of only for new build structures as part of technical documentation required for obtaining occupancy permits.
Serbian energy passport regulations have since been revised on multiple occasions to bring them into line with European standards and promote residential energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption. The latest amendments, which took effect in August 2023, require all buildings, both public and private and commercial and residential, to be certified within the next ten years.
A gradual roll-out of energy passports is envisaged: they will initially be mandated for public buildings (public administration buildings, courts, hospitals, universities, schools, and the like), which will have to be certified within the next three years, by August 2026. Commercial buildings will be required to receive energy passports within five years, whilst by August 2023 all structures, including residential apartments, should be certified.
Exactly how this certification requirement will be enforced is still not known. According to the legislation, once the implementation period has expired, energy passports will have to be appended to property sale and lease agreements.
The current Building Energy Certification Regulation exempts some structures from this requirement, including existing buildings with a total area of under 50 square metres, temporary buildings envisaged to be in place for less than two years, workshops and production facilities not intended to be enclosed, and the like.
Energy passports are issued by appropriately licensed companies, with each passport published and available in the Central Register of Building Energy Passports (CREP) at https://www.crep.gov.rs; the website also offers a list of all licensed certification firms. Energy passports can also be issued for building subdivisions (such as apartments), rather than only for entire buildings. The cost of the passports will be driven by the market, but the prices are expected to range from 100 euros for individual apartments to several thousand euros for large buildings.
Energy passports play a key role in promoting sustainable construction and promote global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They are used to assign energy performance ratings (EPRs) to buildings. According to Serbian rules, energy efficiency is assessed on the basis of annual final heat consumption, and the ratings allow performance to be compared across buildings. Energy performance ratings range from A+, meaning the building uses the least heat, to G, which indicates the largest heat consumption. The EPRs help building owners and potential buyers to understand how much heat a building uses and how efficient it is in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.
Energy passports can affect property prices in a variety of ways. Some considerations include:
Property value. More energy efficient homes can cost less to heat and cool, which may mean lower monthly power bills and make the home more valuable to potential buyers.
Buyer awareness. Property buyers are becoming increasingly aware of how energy efficiency can affect their monthly costs. As such, homes with higher EPRs can be more attractive and potentially command higher prices.
Investment potential. A buyer may consider energy efficiency improvements to a low EPR property, such as better insulation or more energy efficient appliances. This can be factored into property price negotiations.
Competition. Competition plays a crucial role in the property market. High EPR properties can be more attractive to buyers than low EPR properties in the same price bracket, which can drive prices up.
As shown above, there are multiple paths in which energy passports can affect property prices, and there is no universal answer. Lastly, property prices depend on numerous factors, including location, size, state of repair, and market trends. The energy passport is just one additional consideration that can influence the price of a property.
In conclusion, energy passports can prompt owners to consider making their properties more energy efficient and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, so helping combat climate change, a key task for the future.
*Text published in the publication “Real Estate. Insurance. Financing.“