Spanish Royal Decree 235-2013 came into effect on 14 April and approves the basic procedure for the Energy Efficiency Certification of buildings. 

Spanish Royal Decree 235-2013 came into effect on 14 April 2013 and approves the basic procedure for the Energy Efficiency Certification of buildings. It makes the Energy Certificate obligatory for all sale or lease transactions signed from 1 June 2013.

The text defines the technical and administrative conditions for performing the energy certifications and the calculation methodology for the rating given.

The calculation considers the factors that most influence energy consumption in buildings and the text also defines the energy efficiency label, the common symbol used for the whole of Spain.

The Energy Efficiency Certificate will be a factor in making purchase or lease decisions that supports the promotion of highly energy efficient buildings and energy saving investments.

What is the Energy Rating?

The Energy Efficiency Rating of a building or part of a building (commercial premises, apartments, offices, etc.) quantifies the energy consumption required for normal conditions of functioning and occupation (heating, hot water, refrigeration, lighting…) and is represented by a scale of six letters (A to G). Spanish Royal Decree 235-2013 does not define a specific minimum requirement for the degree of energy efficiency.

In addition to the rating, the Energy Efficiency Certificate includes information about the procedure, description of the energy characteristics and recommendations for technically viable improvements, and may also include an estimate of the time to recoup any investment required in improvement works or the return on such investments.

The Rating must be recorded by an official agency, appointed by each regional government, which endorses the nature of the certificate. The owner or developer must present the certificate to this regional agency to register it. This agency will use random selection techniques to control at least a significant proportion of the certificates issued every year. It must also create and maintain a statistical inventory of the actions taken.

Who can issue Energy Efficiency Certificates?

The Energy Efficiency Certificate of an existing building will be issued by a competent expert freely chosen by the owner. This expert is someone that holds an academic and professional qualification for drafting building works and management projects or for carrying out thermal installation projects.

When is it obligatory?

The Energy Efficiency Certificate (duly issued and registered by the competent agency of the corresponding regional government) must be presented or shown for all property sale and lease contracts signed from 1 June 2013.

Whenever buildings or units of buildings are constructed, sold or leased, the Energy Efficiency Certificate, or a copy of the certificate, must be shown to the buyer or the new potential tenant and shall be provided to the buyer or the new tenant.  In the case of a lease, it is sufficient to simply show the tenant the certificate or a copy.

Certificates will also be obligatory for public buildings or parts of public buildings that occupy a useable floor area of more than 250 square metres and are regularly used by the public.

The following are excluded from the scope of application: officially protected buildings and monuments, places exclusively used for worship or for religious activities, provisional constructions (with an expected use of two years or less), the non-residential parts of industrial buildings, the non-residential parts of defence and agricultural buildings, detached buildings with less than 50 square metres of useable floor area, buildings acquired for significant refurbishment work or to be demolished, and buildings that are used for less than four months per year.

Validity period

The Certificate will be valid for a maximum of ten years. The owner will be responsible for renewing or updating it according to the conditions established by the competent regional government agency. The owner may voluntarily update the certificate when it believes that variations have occurred in aspects of the building that may modify the energy efficiency certificate.


The Spanish Royal Decree 235-2013 establishes a system of sanctions for breaches of the provisions of the basic procedure that constitute offences against consumers and users. Sanctions range from €3,000 to €600,000 according to the degree of severity (light, serious or very serious).

We always endeavor to offer the best of services, and can provide you with a list of professionals that could, if you require, prepare this new Spanish Royal Decree 235-2013 legal certificate requisite for any transaction with your property.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information or additional


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