Energy renovation, a major asset for your home

At a time of climate change and the energy crisis, renovating your home to make it more energy-efficient is now a top priority. By taking this step, you will make savings and increase the value of your property. But how do you determine the energy performance of your home, how can you improve it and how can the bank help you? To answer all these questions, let's start with the energy performance certificate.

What is an energy passport?

The energy performance certificate (EPC), also known as the "energy passport", defines a building's energy performance. This certificate indicates the energy class of the property, ranging from the best class (A) - awarded to passive houses - to the worst (I). This classification is based on three elements: primary energy requirements, heating requirements and the building’s CO2 emissions. The certificate is valid for 10 years and must be drawn up by an architect or consulting engineer who is a member of the Ordre des Architectes et des Ingénieurs-Conseils (OAI) or by an expert approved by the Ministry of Energy and Spatial Planning. (You can find a complete list of experts authorized to issue energy performance certificates by clicking on the following link.)

In principle, every residential building in Luxembourg has an energy passport. However, if you carry out renovation work that has an impact on the energy performance of your home, or if the cost of changes made to your technical installations exceed €1,500 (for a single-family house) or €3,000 (for a multi-family house), you will be obliged to apply for a new energy passport. As this is a legal obligation, no subsidies are available. That being said, the cost of this formality is quite reasonable. Furthermore, obtaining an EPC will enable you to show proof that your home's energy performance has improved and can therefore be upgraded to a higher energy class. 

How can you improve the energy performance of your home?

There are several ways to improve the energy rating of your home. These can be summarised in four points.

Thermal insulation is one of the most effective ways of reducing energy consumption. By improving the insulation of your walls, roof and attic and opting for double- or triple-glazed windows, you can increase protection against the cold in winter and prevent overheating in summer. In this way, you reduce your energy requirements and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In other words, the better the insulation, the greater the impact and the higher the level of State aid. If you use environmentally-friendly insulation materials, you may be eligible for additional grants.

Better ventilation can also be good for your budget.  Instead of regularly opening your windows, install a controlled mechanical ventilation system (CMV). This will automatically ventilate your home, eliminating superfluous humidity, reducing the risk of mould and recovering heat from stale air to warm fresh air.

More efficient heating and cooling systems, such as heat pumps, high-efficiency boilers or low-energy air conditioners, will also help you reduce your gas and electricity bills, while benefiting from State aid.

Producing clean electricity from the sun is another option to consider. By installing solar panels you benefit from inexhaustible, renewable, low-carbon energy. What's more, according to the Klima Agency, the energy payback period for solar panels (the time needed for a solar panel installation to produce the same amount of energy as was required to manufacture it) is generally less than two years.   

Key words: agency, state aid, bank, banker, energy performance certificate, high-efficiency boilers, energy classification, renewable energy, ING, insulation, solar panels, energy passport, heat pumps, loans, energy renovation, ventilation   


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