Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Energiepass

A couple of years ago here in Germany, some folks sat down.....with various agendas....and came to this conclusion that homes and apartment buildings....places of residence....ought to have a colorful form that details energy usage.

Mostly, this would center around heat usage and how the building itself rates.  Yeah, it's kinda like that colorful graphic chart on the refrigerator or freezer that you buy.  It would tell you the magical numbers and how efficient the house is or isn't.

They decided that it'd be optional and just kinda phase in.....and as of 1 May 2014, it's now mandatory.

The catch?  If you are about to rent a place or sell a place....the renter or buyer can expect this and you have to come up with it.  You can sense there's some gimmicks to the energiepass.  Well, yeah....there's some fallout to come of this business.

Can a owner do it himself?  Yes....there are local guys that you can approach who will produce the certificate or pass.  There's also an on-line deal where you input the numbers, and pay roughly 50 to 75 Euro.  The pass is generally good for ten years.

Amount of info required?  You need three years of data on heat, water, etc.

A fine if fake data or a false energiepass is created?  Well...yes of course.

So, this brings me to the future issue.  What this energiepass is going to create is a massive number of homes and apartment buildings which are unsellable or unrentable.....because of significant bad numbers on energy usage.  So the owner is forced into a corner....either spend thousands on renovating the building or just leave the empty house or building standing there.....not to be used for anything.

Are there that many homes and apartment buildings with bad insulation?  Folks argue over this.  Most everything built in the past twenty years easily pass standards.  Houses from the 1960s?  Not so much, unless the guy renovated and updated his house.  Apartment buildings are rarely renovated and it might be a forty-year period before some owner gets around to improving the house.

My humble guess....around fifty percent of apartment buildings and houses over forty years old.....will have lousy numbers on this pass.

Some folks in this process (going back a decade or more) probably saw this device as a forceful tool to either bring renovation to the marketplace or to force more new construction business.  Either way....more money has to be spent and the as the buyer or the renter....will end up paying a fair chunk more.

I'd expect rents to move up the scale over the next five years as apartment building owners are pushed into energy renovation.  Cheap renovation?  There is no such thing in Germany.

The energiepass was something with good least on the front of the idea.  Sadly, it'll trigger more cost to the typical German, and maybe two decades down the line....result in the vast majority of German residences being fairly good on heat and utility numbers.  But I would expect somewhere in the shadows.....some wizard of manipulation to stand there and create energiepass II, and get fussy over numbers and factors of manipulating them.  So.....more of the same.

Bottom line?  When you hear of the relates to a colorful chart that will tell you the heat usage of the building, and is mandatory from 1 May 2014 Germany.

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