Transparent energy use

If a real estate advertisement sounds interesting, potential buyers will quickly want to know more about its energy efficiency standard and therefore the future costs for heating and hot water.

The energy performance certificate provides information on the energy efficiency of each building. A distinction is made between a consumption certificate and a requirements certificate. Find out more here.

Demand and consumption

Information in the energy performance certificate

The amount of energy consumed in a building depends on its energy efficiency. The energy performance certificate provides relevant information in this respect.

The energy performance certificate is a convenient way for tenants, leaseholders and buyers to compare the energy requirements and consumption of buildings in Germany. It helps to estimate the potential costs for heating and hot water. The energy performance certificate, pursuant to the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV), contains information on the building and its heating, as well as on the property’s energy performance indicators. In a nutshell: it rates the building’s energy efficiency status.

The document or a copy must be submitted to interested persons no later than when they inspect a property; it must be handed over after completion of the purchase, lease or rent contract. In contrast, the energy performance certificate provides homeowners with points of reference for the energy-efficient modernisation of their building: it systematically discloses a building’s energy deficiencies and shows at the same time which measures can be implemented in order to improve the energy balance.

Consumption statement or requirements statement?

There are two types of energy performance certificate, one for consumption, and the other for requirements. The consumption certificate is based on the consumption of the last few years, which depends largely on the habits of the occupants. In contrast, the requirements certificate calculates the energy requirements of a building, irrespective of occupant habits, which is assessed by an energy consultant on site, detailing the condition of the building structure and the heating system. Owners can usually decide which one they prefer. But there are exceptions: the requirement certificate is mandatory for unrenovated buildings with up to four residential units and a building application lodged before 01/11/1977. The requirement certificate is also needed if consumption data is not available for the building.

It is frequently seen as confusing that there are two different methods of calculation for energy performance certificates. What’s more, the data is only comparable to a limited extent. It is therefore advisable to concentrate one standard in the long term. dena recommends using of the requirement certificate: The data it contains is collected by a certified expert, is more objective and permits more detailed comparisons between buildings. dena advocates public awareness campaigns to ensure that the energy efficiency of buildings becomes more transparent.

The energy performance certificate provides orientation

Like the energy efficiency label for electrical devices, the energy efficiency of buildings is classified on a sliding bar label with a colour scale from green  to red  to indicate their energy requirements or consumption. This permits an estimate of costs for heating and hot water. Moreover, the efficiency classes provide pointers for the building’s energy efficiency condition. Therefore, the introduction of these classes should be welcomed in principle.  But there are risks associated with the current assignment to classes based on energy requirements: it can produce misleading interpretations, as the difference in costs for energy sources and other facts may not be considered.

Issuers of energy performance certificates

Energy performance certificates are issued by experts who are qualified according to Section 21 German Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV).

Homeowners and investors will find issuers of energy performance certificates in dena’s Database of Efficient House Experts. Various experts listed in the Database of Energy Efficiency Experts for Government Funding Programmes are also entitled to issue certificates.

Additional information on the energy performance certificate is found on the website

You can access further information on the energy performance certificate in the expert portal for energy-efficient construction and renovation (FEBS), which replaces the dena Service for Experts.

Projects on the topic

Campaign “zukunft haus” (“future house”).

What was originally conceived of as a portal for informing and motivating owners in 2003 has now developed into an extensive campaign and a mainstay for stakeholders from the industry and politicians, as well as for the press.


  • Project start: 2003
  • Over 9,000 newsletter subscribers
  • Approx. 30,000 press reports with a total reach (circulation) of 1.2 billion
  • Turnover of more than 6.3 million information brochures
  • Free hotline: over 100,000 questions on energy efficiency in buildings
  • Website: (consumer) information tailored specifically for a particular target group; over 8 million visitors on central internet platform