Showing the energy rating is a legal requirement for all properties advertised (in France) as being ‘to let’ or ‘for sale’, whether by owner or via an estate agent, effective from Ist January 2011.  The only exceptions are  properties to be rented out for less than four months in total per year, as the law states that “La location saisonnière est concernée dès lors que le logement est loué au moins quatre mois consécutifs ou non dans l’année.” (the law applies only when the property is rented out at least 4 months a year, consecutive or not” .

The “diagnostic de performance énergique” (DPE) is performed by a qualified surveyor who measures such elements as type of insulation, type of heating used, quality of windows and shutters, the ratio of windows to walls and and other elements which, when combined, enable him/her to calculate the property’s energy consumption in KWh/m²/yr and the amount of greenhouse gas emissions it produces measured in Kg/m²/yr. These figures are then plotted on a graph rated from A (good) through to G (not so good) e.g…. (Click tables to enlarge)

DPE energyDPE climate

This European law, although passed some time ago and applicable in the UK since 2008, took some time to come into effect here in France while its implementation was plagued by uncertainty and doubt. It is now with us though and as such if you wish to advertise your property in a print publication the “classe énergie X” must be within the body of the text using the same size of font as the rest of the description; if it is to be advertised on a website the bar graph vignette must be shown at a minimum size of 180×180 pixels; if it is to be advertised in a shop window then this bar graph must occupy at least 5% of the advertisement area i.e. 31.5cm2 (or 5.6125cm x 5.6125cm) for a standard sheet of A4. Failure to adhere with these requirements may result in a hefty fine and even the potential for imprisonment…

The results of the DPE survey are valid for ten years AND are required by the Notaire as/when you do find a buyer for your property. Thus we highly recommend that you get the survey performed as soon as possible.
There are a good number of specialists in the PO, to find one simply look in the Yellow Pages under “Experts en techniques du batiment”, if you wish to save time, two such experts that we can recommend wholeheartedly are:

Patrick Berger

Denis Laforet

It is not possible to give you the precise cost you will face for the energy rating survey (DPE) as the price depends upon the size and location of your home. However for an ‘average’ property (i.e. 3-4 bed villa) you should expect a fee of around 100€. If  you are selling,  the expert will no doubt encourage you to perform a full diagnostic test (with perhaps a small discount to incentivise you). These are more expensive but you should bear in mind that the full set of tests are legally required prior to signature of the compromis de vente.

James Edgecombe

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