Energy audit: the texts have been published, for entry into force on September 1

Two texts, a decree and an order, were published in the Official Journal of May 5, 2022. Highly anticipated, they complete the series of texts that have reformed the energy performance diagnosis (EPD), now harmonized, mandatory and enforceable, and come from the Climate and Resilience law, which also imposes a gradual ban on renting energy strainers.

The energy audit is added to the DPE, when the latter reveals poor performance, expressed in the classification from A to G. It applies, at the time of sale, to individual houses and apartments located in single ownership, thus excluding dwellings located in a condominium. It aims to go further than the DPE in the precise analysis of the energy characteristics, and to propose work to improve performance.

A progressive schedule, an entry into force considered “rushed”

The decree published today confirms the timetable announced at the end of last year by the public authorities. Thus, housing classified F and G must, in order to be sold, be audited from September 1st. E housing will be subject to this obligation on January 1, 2025. Next will come G classified housing on January 1, 2034. Note that this audit is valid for five years. The list of people authorized to carry out the audit includes diagnosticians, architects, and many professionals as long as they are qualified.

The entry into force of this obligation had already been postponed by the Government “after consultation with professionals” of the sector. For Sidiane, which represents real estate diagnosticians, this remains very premature, because “the sector has not been able to prepare properly”. The software is not ready, the technicians are not trained, and the audits will therefore either not be carried out or poorly carried out. Especially since “the stock of housing F and G is much larger” since the entry into force of the new DPE. Sidiane reiterates, in a press release, its request for an entry into force postponed to January 1, 2023.

Schematize the distribution of losses

The decree published the same day specifies the content of the energy audit. He will have to take the information from the DPE, and go further, with a diagram specifying the distribution of heat losses. It must also mention, where applicable, the existence of control systems and the conditions of aeration or ventilation of the building before the works.

In particular, it must give an indication of the annual energy consumption, the total annual consumption, and the greenhouse gas emissions. The audit should, last but not least, contain work proposals, with a description of each of the positions, and the expected energy savings. These work proposals are made according to two scenarios.

Reach the level of a high-performance renovation, with two work scenarios

A first proposal provides for a course of work in stages to constitute an efficient renovation, explains the decree. Each of the steps “does not compromise the technical or economic feasibility of the following steps”. This course of work includes in particular the study of the six work stations usually mentioned: the insulation of the walls, the insulation of the low floors, the insulation of the roof, the replacement of exterior joinery, ventilation, production of heating and domestic hot water as well as the associated interfaces.

Obligations to achieve energy performance are associated with this work: thus, the first stage makes it possible to achieve a gain of at least one class and at least to achieve class E, and the final stage must make it possible to achieve at least class B. For class F or G buildings before work, the work route includes an intermediate stage allowing at least class C to be reached, specifies the decree.

The second work proposal must provide for a single-stage work route, therefore a global renovation, to constitute a high-performance renovation, i.e. a level of performance at least equal to that of class B. This route also includes the study of the six work stations.

Exemption

By way of derogation, the decree provides that if the technical, architectural, heritage or cost characteristics of the work do not allow performance class B to be achieved, the work route provides for the treatment of the six work stations and allows achieve at least performance class C for class E buildings before works, performance class D for class F buildings before works, performance class E for class G buildings before works. That is an improvement of at least two classes.

The six work stations are considered as processed “as soon as the auditor certifies that they have been brought to a high level of performance by using the best techniques available and compatible with the characteristics of the building concerned”clarifies the text.

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