By 2050, the Flemish government wants all homes to be energy efficient, a future that, given the current energy debacle, is drawing ever closer. One of the first measures implemented in this plan is the obligation for buyers to renovate a purchased home with EPC label E or F to a minimum EPC label D within 5 years from Jan. 1, 2023. But what exactly does this mean and does the same obligation also apply to those who already own a home?
What is an EPC label again?
When purchasing a home, an energy performance certificate (EPC) is given to the buyer. This document shows by means of a score how energy efficient or energy wasting your purchase is: starting with score A (energy efficient) to score F (energy wasting). Starting next year, if you buy a house with an EPC score E or F, the Flemish government requires you to renovate it energetically within five years until you obtain a minimum EPC score of D. After five years, an energy expert will determine whether your home meets this requirement.
When does this obligation apply?
This renovation obligation applies not only to notarized transfers of full ownership, but also to the establishment of a building lease or ground lease. An apartment is also considered a home, so the purchase of an energy-guzzling apartment also falls under the renovation obligation.
What if I don't renovate?
If you do not comply, the Flemish Energy and Climate Agency (VEKA) can impose an administrative fine ranging from 500 to 200,000 euros and a new deadline is set for achieving the D-score.
Can I get grants to renovate?
Energy renovation costs money. The Flemish government wishes to encourage Flemish people to renovate their homes (or have them renovated) - whether you are obliged to do so or not - by means of a number of support measures:
- The EPC label premium from Fluvius directly benefits new owners subject to the renovation requirement. You can get 2,000 to 5,000 euros if you boost the EPC label of your house or apartment within five years.
- Under MyRebuild premium have since July 1 brought together the former renovation premium and most of Fluvius' energy premiums: premiums for roof insulation, wall insulation, floor insulation, high-efficiency glass, solar water heater, heat pump, heat pump boiler and gas condensing boiler.
- Those who invest within five years in at least 3 or more energy-saving measures eligible for My Renovation Premium (or at least two in combination with a ventilation system) can also receive a Total renovation bonus At least one of those investments, however, must have started before July 1, 2022.
- If you have solar panels installed with an inverter power of up to 10 kVA you are eligible for a single premium of up to 1,500 euros.
- Since September 1, 2022, the interest-free My Rebuilding Loan can be applied for. This loan of up to 60,000 euros can be used to finance renovations that focus both on home quality and on improving energy performance. My Renovation Loan replaces the Energy Loan and Energy Loan+ since September 1, 2022.
- If you buy a house or apartment with a poor energy performance and renovate it thoroughly within five years, you can obtain a mortgage loan from the lender in addition to the mortgage loan. interest-free renovation credit The interest is repaid by the Flemish government.
Should I also renovate if I already own?
Not only will the obligation to renovate until a certain label is achieved be tightened, there are also matters before the Flemish government to further oblige citizens to renovate.
Thus, for people who already own a home, there are also stringencies on the horizon. By 2030, the Flemish government wants apartments and houses in closed buildings to evolve to label D and houses in open and semi-open buildings to label E.
Even more: the goal is to be able to assign an A label to all houses and apartments by 2050. At present, this is not yet a concrete obligation, but it is already included in the Flemish government's energy objective.
Finally, the Flemish government is also currently looking at whether it can prohibit owners of rental properties that are energy inefficient from fully indexing the rent until these rental properties are made energy efficient.
As a (future) owner, you will therefore have to take into account increasingly strict regulations. Do you want to be well prepared? Make an appointment with our pro experts and together we'll see what your next step is.