The Cantonal Energy Certificate for Buildings (CECB) is a label that indicates the level of energy efficiency for buildings. It shows very clearly and simply if a property is energy-efficient or if it devours energy. It is compulsory in the Fribourg and Vaud cantons.
What is an inefficient CECB?
An inefficient CECB proves that a property guzzles energy, mainly heating. It is generally due to inadequate insulation (doors, windows, roof, wall insulation) or to underperforming heating and hot water facilities (all-electric heating via convectors or old oil burners, for example). This is typically an aspect of old constructions which have not been, or have only partially been, renovated. Inadequate energy efficiency entails high heating and hot water production costs for the owner and leads to depreciation on their property. It puts the owner at risk of having to carry out extensive renovation work if regulations are tightened.
How can you obtain an efficient CECB?
By carrying out extensive renovation work on the openings (doors, windows), the walls and the roof and by installing energy-efficient, cost-efficient heating systems (heat pumps) and by using renewable energy (solar panels). Investment required may be in the range of 100,000 Swiss francs, or even double this amount. However, the savings made may facilitate investment amortization.
If the CECB is inefficient, is renovation work compulsory?
No, each owner is ultimately responsible for their property. The aim of the CECB is to encourage owners to improve their energy efficiency rating, in order to enhance the appeal (and, as such, the price) of their property if ever it is to be resold in relation to the market average. The Vaud Cantonal Authority does not oblige owners to undertake renovation work.
Is the CECB stipulated in the deed of sale?
Yes. The notary must draw the purchaser’s attention to the energy efficiency label for the property they are buying. However, these elements carry little weight when appraising a property in comparison with other criteria such as location, closeness to amenities (shops, schools, etc.), distance from pollution (noise, smells), unobstructed view. Notwithstanding, a high CECB may enhance the appeal of a property as it offers the prospect of lower energy costs and mitigates the risk of extensive remediation work.
Who issues the CECB?
An expert approved by the Conference of Cantonal Energy Directors. The list of experts is consultable on the CECB website. A simple assessment costs around 500 Swiss francs. An in-depth assessment, with proposal of measures to be taken, is more expensive: around 1,200 Swiss francs. CECB certificates are valid for ten years for already-built properties (regardless of their age) and for three years for properties in the planning/project stage.
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