The Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning

Publication Analysis of the amendment of the building directive: Study on the establishment of a quality control system for energy certificates

BMVBS-Online-Publikation 10/12, Ed.: BMVBS, June 2012

Series: BMVBS-Online-Publikationen Published: July 2012

ECONSULT Lambrecht Jungmann Partnerschaft, Rottenburg
Klaus Lambrecht, Uli Jungmann
in co-operation with Reinhard Zink, Ralf Lambrecht, Holger Hauschild
Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS), Berlin
Wiltrud Gerstinger, André Hempel

Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR), Bonn
Sara Kunkel


With the enactment of the revised European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), all Member States are committed to set up an independent control mechanism in each Member State to ensure the quality of the certificates on the energy efficiency and the inspection of heating and air conditioning systems within two years throughout the Union (paragraph (27) of the EPBD). Required is "a random selection of at least a statistically significant percentage of all the energy performance certificates issued annually" and their "verification".

The research project provides proposals and evaluations for a non-bureaucratic as possible, and at the same time efficient implementation of EU regulations in Germany. Using quality management principles, the process to issue the energy performance certificate is described and analysed in detail. Particular attention is paid to data collection and making random selection, since it can result in huge differences for effort, depending on the implementation. A central registration, organised by the Federal States - or at least the nationwide central pooling of by the Federal States registered energy performance certificates - in conjunction with a central selection of samples, reduces the effort significantly by up to about 90%, compared to make random selection separately for each state .

The collection of data via the issuer of the energy performance certificate is considered to be simpler than the collection via the owner, since the issuer is able to transmit the data electronically to the inspection body in a predefined format with little effort. By building a database for issuers in conjunction with an online registration of the certificates, certificates can both be quickly and easily collected and samplings carried out.

The common thread running through the study is the guiding principle that from a quality control learning effects for an improved use of energy performance certificates can be derived. The EPBD requirements are met with a random selection of the sample from all the certificates. However, the significance of the test results and their applicability with respect to a quality improvement can be increased significantly with little additional effort by making random selection from groups of certificates.

The EPBD requirements are met with a validity check. However, the significance of the test results and their applicability with respect to a quality improvement can be increased significantly with very little additional effort by the creation and evaluation of test reports. Especially in complex multi-zone calculations according to DIN V 18599, the effort of the validity check on the results stated in the certificate could be reduced by a software validation. The effort of a complete examination of the input data, of the results stated in the energy performance certificate, and an inspection of the building is significant and not required for a 1:1 implementation of the EPBD.


Under the premises

  • regulatory compliance,
  • implementation of the minimum requirement of the EPBD (1:1 implementation) and
  • least possible financial and administrative burdens

and after consideration of the arguments discussed in this report, we recommend the implementation of a quality control system for energy performance certificates as follows:

  • Establishment of a jointly by the Federal States organized central database for issuer of energy performance certificates; online registration with identity verification and random checking whether the admission requirements are met; an issuer ID number, which must be stated on the certificate.
  • Mandatory reporting of all certification acts and contact information by the issuer through a central online database.
  • Obligation to keep the data bases for the energy performance certificate for randomly conducted validity test till the end of the second year following the issuance.
  • Central drawing of the samples separated by five groups, a total of 800 certificates a year (160 per group) would then have to be examined.
  • Validity check of the samples by a qualified staff of a preferably by the Federal States organised central authority or by this central authority assigned external experts. The audit, in opinion of the authors, must be done according to defined standard guidelines.
  • The findings on the quality of the energy performance certificates can be analysed - possibly later - and measures can be developed and discussed to improve the weak points identified. This can improve the quality in the form of simplifications in the evaluation process, better qualification of the issuers, or sanctions for incorrect certificates.
  • To support the implementation of quality control by the sanctions required in article 27 EPBD the authors recommend to consider an extension of the finable facts of EnEV.

The abstract is part of the German publication "Untersuchung zur Novellierung der Gebäuderichtlinie: Studie zur Einrichtung eines Qualitätskontrollsystems für Energieausweise" - BMVBS-Online-Publikation 10/12, Hrsg.: BMVBS, Juni 2012, Berlin
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