FOLDERS. Thermal strainers: the energy diagnosis attacked its reliability

the essential
An essential element in the sale or rental of real estate, the energy efficiency diagnosis (EPD) has seen its reliability questioned in recent times. Which put some owners at risk of ending up with homes considered indecent. explanations.

It is a true sword of Damocles over the heads of the owners. Classifying homes from A to G, the energy performance diagnosis (EPD) makes it rain and shine in the real estate market.

Mandatory since 2007, but considered at the time as a simple procedure with no real impact, it does condition today any transaction and rental of a property.

a kind of lottery

“The potential buyer or tenant has objective information about the quality of the accommodation offered, which avoids unpleasant surprises,” explains Yannick Ainouche, president of the Fnaim real estate diagnostics chamber.

However, its reliability has often been questioned, even giving some owners the impression of participating in a kind of lottery.

Recently, it was the association of 60 million consumers who fixed this famous DPE. By carrying out twenty diagnoses, some of them for the same purpose, the association has obtained more than surprising results.

A new calculation method

“For the same house, the five diagnoses do not lead to the same result,” explains the association 60 Millions of consumers. There are always at least two different letters, and sometimes three for the energy labels that go from A to G”.

How is such a difference possible? For Yannick Ainouche, two factors can explain this gap. “The new DPE calculation method has been much more advanced since its revision in July 2021. The diagnosis now includes a greater part of the technical specificities of the home. For the DPE to be reliable and objective, the owner must provide us with several essential data: type of insulation, thickness of it, etc.

However, according to the expert, some of them are absent when the diagnosis is made or simply cannot answer certain questions that are too technical. “As part of the new DPE, we must, for example, enter the size of the insulation. If we don’t have this information, we put a non-compliance index, which lowers the rating of the property”, explains the expert.

Low cost diagnostics

Another hypothesis raised by our interlocutor: the use of low-cost, unqualified diagnosticians, who liquidate prices and tarnish the image of the sector. “Although it is not the majority of cases, some diagnosticians do their job poorly and give EPDs that are not reliable,” acknowledges the Fnaim expert. A problem well known to public authorities.

Published in September, a report by the General Directorate of Competition, Consumption and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF) points to certain dubious practices by real estate diagnosticians. In question ? Unclear pricing and display that too often is non-existent.

The chamber of real estate diagnosticians of the Fnaim thus calls for the construction of a true professional branch and, why not, to think of an authority that can sanction unscrupulous diagnosticians. As a reminder, as of July 1, 2021, the DPE is legally enforceable.

The Condo Riddle

But a new controversy is emerging. If individual houses can improve their ranking more easily thanks to renovation works, this is not the case for apartments.

Depending on the state of the building they are in and the mode of heating, most often collective, the apartments struggle to change class, even if they are renovated from top to bottom.

Faced with this mess, almost a quarter of the owners would be reluctant to embark on the work and would seek to get rid of these properties that have become “unrentable” and unsaleable.

Especially since a new measure still risks making people cringe: from 1Ahem April, an energy audit will be mandatory when selling class F and G condominiums. At the owner’s expense, it should cost between 600 euros and 1,000 euros.

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