12° Nicosia,
25 June, 2024

MEP's pass bill banning home sales or rentals without energy upgrade

The law will start to apply in 2030

Kathimerini Greece Newsroom

All properties available for sale or rent must incur compulsory energy upgrade costs, costing tens of thousands of euros, from 2030 onward, based on what is stated in the relevant European Union directive.

The bill to that effect was passed on Tuesday by the European Parliament with 343 votes in favor, 216 against and 78 absent. Negotiations with the European Council will follow, in order to further specify the relevant measures and to start the period of their adoption by the member-states.

Based on what was adopted, owners who wish to sell or rent out their property should have previously taken care to upgrade it in terms of home energy provisions. In the case of housing, this will start to apply in 2030. This obligation will only concern properties that are classified in the two lowest categories of the energy certificate and are either sold or leased (with new lease contracts). Commercial real estate (e.g. offices, shops, warehouses, etc) and real estate used by the state will be expected to achieve the same target by 2027 (for category E) and by 2030 (for category D) if they are the subject of a new lease or sale.

For example, an apartment in the center of Athens that currently has a category G energy certificate should undergo energy efficiency upgrade works at a cost of 15,000-20,000 euros in order to insulate it and be able to upgrade its energy efficiency during the required two categories, going up to the E category. From 2033, however, the minimum will be set at the immediately higher category D.

The president of the Panhellenic Federation of Property Owners (POMIDA), and also of the International Union of Property Owners (UIPI), Stratos Paradias, spoke of an “armageddon” which will bring great upheaval to private real estate.

“In the EU at the present time, completely irrational regulations are being adopted which no proprietor in any European country can support. They do not care whether Greek families have the money to carry out energy upgrade interventions, whether there is the possibility of support from the banking system, whether there will be tax relief for those who do it etc,” he stated.

To facilitate access to grants and funding, member states must establish free-of-charge information points and cost-neutral renovation schemes. Financial measures such as targeted grants and subsidies should be made available to vulnerable households, with an important premium for deep renovations.

Monuments would be excluded from the new rules, while EU countries may decide to also exclude buildings protected for their special architectural or historical merit, technical buildings, buildings used temporarily, and churches and places of worship. Member states may also exempt public social housing if renovations would lead to rent increases that cannot be compensated by savings on energy bills.

Rapporteur for the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, Ciarán Cuffe, stated that improving the performance of Europe’s buildings will reduce bills, decrease dependence on energy imports, reduce emissions, and provide better indoor environments for people’s health. The directive will also create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the construction, renovation, and renewable industries while improving the well-being of millions of people living in Europe.

[With information from Euro Parliament]

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