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What is an EPC?

An EPC is similar to the electrical appliance energy label.

The EPC for dwellings has two scale bars showing the rating of your dwelling and its carbon emissions, with zero being the most energy efficient and the other extreme being the least efficient. The EPC for non-dwellings has a vertical A to G scale bar, with A being the most energy efficient and G being the least efficient.

EPCs became compulsory for all dwellings being sold or rented or as from 02/01/2009. An EPC is also required for those dwellings that undergo Planning Authority development permission to be newly constructed or undergo a change of use from 02/01/2009.

For non-dwellings, EPCs became compulsory for those buildings being sold, rented and requested Planning Authority development permission to be newly constructed or undergo a change of use as from 01/06/2009.

If you are buying or renting a property now, you are entitled to be provided with an EPC by the seller/landlord or his/her agent for the building in question. An EPC must be carried out by an independent EPB assessors who is registered with the Building and Construction Agency.  A list of registered EPB Assessors is available on the EPC Portal website at https://secure2.gov.mt/epc/information-assessors?l=1.

What does the EPC look like?

To see what an EPC looks like please refer to the EPC Portal at https://secure2.gov.mt/epc/News-Details?nid=18&l=1.

When is an EPC required?

  • EPCs for buildings being newly constructed/sold/rented out are required as from 02/01/2009.
  • Situations of change of use in buildings whose applications are received by the Planning Authority as from 02/01/09.
  • Large buildings (>1000sq.m) for which an outline or full development permit application is received by the MEPA as from 02/01/2009 are to produce a study that take into consideration the technical, environmental and economic feasibility of alternative energy system.
  • Display Certificates for public buildings occupying an area of 250 square metres or more. 
  • Inspection of boilers >20kW and A/C units >12kW as from 02/01/2010.

What building categories are exempt from an EPC?

The procurement of an EPC shall not apply to the following categories of buildings:

  1. a building classified as Grade One scheduled property by the Planning Authority under article 46 of the Development Planning Act
  2. a building the construction of which is subject to the Control of Fireworks and other Explosives Regulations, 1998
  3. a building constructed for the Enemalta Corporation, the Water Services Corporation or any other similar entity, and used as a generation, transmission or distribution station
  4. a building, or parts of a building, housing solely industrial or agricultural processes or livestock husbandry which require adherence to specific sectoral regulations
  5. temporary buildings with a planned time of use of two years or less
  6. glasshouses used solely for agricultural purposes
  7. stand-alone buildings with a total useful floor area of less than 40 square metres e.g. a tool room in a field.
  8. a building constructed for use by the Armed Forces of Malta in connection with their military requirements
  9. a building used as a place of worship.

What are the EPC implementation dates for dwellings in Malta & Gozo?

02/01/2009: Sale or letting of ALL dwellings.

An EPC must accompany an offer to sell or let a dwelling by the vendor or by the landlord or by their agent (e.g. estate agent).

02/01/2009: Newly constructed dwellings or buildings for which “change of use” planning permission was applied for on or after 02/01/2009.

When the new dwelling is offered for sale “on plan”:  a design EPC must be produced by the vendor to potential buyers, based on the pre-construction plans. When the same new dwelling is completed, an asset EPC must be supplied to the purchaser, based on the plans of the dwelling as constructed if there are any significant changes.

Who can produce my EPC?

EPC assessments are carried out by registered EPB assessors who have undertaken training provided by the Building and Construction Agency and approved by the Building Regulation Board. A list of registered EPB Assessors is available at https://secure2.gov.mt/EPC/information-assessors?l=1

It is an offence for persons not registered with the Building and Construction Agency as EPB assessors to carry out an EPC assessment for the purposes of the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations.

How much will the EPC cost?

There is no set fee and the advice is to request a quotation from different EPB assessors for the best price. Make sure that you confirm all the relevant fees prior to commissioning an EPC assessment. Assessors are charged a fee of €75 by the Building and Construction Agency for official registration of the EPC.

Who pays for an EPC?

Any fee for an EPC will be payable by the current owner (directly or through his/her agent). This includes the fees payable to the EPB assessor.

What happens if my building achieves a low EPRDM?

The impact of a lower/superior EPRDM should have a positive impact on the marketability of buildings offered for sale or letting.

What happens if my building achieves a high EPRDM?

L.N. 376 of 2012, referred to as the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations, 2012 designates no legal penalty for getting an inferior/high rating for a building. 

However, new buildings constructed after 02/01/2007 must comply with Document F – Technical Guidance on the Conservation of Fuel, Energy and Natural Resources (minimum requirements on the energy performance of buildings regulations, 2006).

New buildings for which planning application is validated as from the 01/01/2016 must comply with Document F – Technical Guidance on the Conservation of Fuel, Energy and Natural Resources (minimum requirements on the energy performance of buildings regulations, 2016). 

The impact of a higher/inferior EPRDM on the marketability of buildings offered for sale or letting will ultimately depend on overall demand, other factors such as the location of the building, and the price of electricity and fuels for cooling and heating.

What can be done to improve the rating shown on the EPC?

To improve the energy rating and hence obtain an Energy–Efficient Building with the best possible level of energy performance, ask your building professional to refer to the EPBR requirements. This can be obtained via a variety of options:

  1. Install External Insulation around the Exposed Walls & the Roof.
  2. Apply Ventilation Techniques to Roofs & Walls to further enhance natural cooling of the external building structure by using the Stack Effect.
  3. Apply proper internal Natural Ventilation techniques.
  4. Apply Solar Cooling using a Solar Chimney System.
  5. Windows shouldn’t be left exposed to the sun. External Shading Systems such as external shutters & louvers should be installed.
  6. Use Double / Triple Glazing & UV Filters on South Facing Windows.
  7. Install a Solar Water Heating together with an appropriate plumbing system.
  8. Use white reflective paint on the external walls & roof.
  9. Use Energy Efficient Heating & Cooling systems.
  10. Always use energy saving lamps, possibly installing an efficient lighting control occupancy system.
  11. Use Water Collection & Install Water Recycling Systems
  12. Make use of sun pipes for the lower floors that don’t have a lot of incident natural light.

Click here to download the document on cost-effective recommendations.

How long will the EPC remain valid?

An EPC for a dwelling will be valid for 10 years from the date of its being issued, unless there is a material change in the building in the meantime which could affect its energy performance – for example an extension to the building, a significant change to the building fabric, installation of insulation or double-glazed elements or installation of equipment utilising alternative sources of energy.

Therefore if a property which has an EPC is placed on the market within 10 years of that EPC being issued, and the property has experienced no relevant alteration in the meantime, then that same EPC may be used by the building owner for the purposes of meeting their obligations under the Regulations.

How will an EPC be carried out for an existing building?

An EPC of an existing building being offered for sale or letting on or after 02/01/2009 must be carried out by an EPB assessor, at the expense of the vendor or landlord - who must provide the resulting EPC to prospective buyers/tenants.

The EPB assessor will normally inspect the building to assess, for example: the size, the construction materials, the insulation levels, the types of windows, the ventilation features, details of the cooling, heating and hot water systems, etc. This information will then be used to calculate the energy performance of the building and to give it an energy rating.

All EPB assessors are be required to follow a standardised procedure using an approved calculation methodology to arrive at a rating.