Implementing Directive 2002/91/EC, the UK have the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), Belgium has the Energieprestatiecertificaat (EPC), Germany has Energieausweis, France has Diagnostic de performance énergétique (DPE), etc. All are graded A-G. Can they be directly compared?

For example, I rent a studio in England with an EPC which states a typical consumption of 354 kWh/m²/yr and classifies it as C. But on a Belgian real estate site I find homes with 205 kWh/m²/yr and D, 140 kwH/m²/yr and C, or 280 kWh/m²/yr and F, and the French Wikipedia would place 354 kWh/m²/yr in grade F. This Swedish certificate describes that new housing in Sweden must use at most 50 kWh/m²/yr, which there is apparently class C, even though Sweden is much colder than Belgium, France, or the UK.

I imagine it's not entirely fair to compare absolute heating costs between different climates. Is there a common system that defines the A-G scale?

Article 7

Energy performance certificate

  1. Member States shall ensure that, when buildings are constructed, sold or rented out, an energy performance certificate is made available to the owner or by the owner to the prospective buyer or tenant, as the case might be. The validity of the certificate shall not exceed 10 years.

Certification for apartments or units designed for separate use in blocks may be based:

  • on a common certification of the whole building for blocks with a common heating system, or

  • on the assessment of another representative apartment in the same block.

Member States may exclude the categories referred to in Article 4(3) from the application of this paragraph.

  1. The energy performance certificate for buildings shall include reference values such as current legal standards and benchmarks in order to make it possible for consumers to compare and assess the energy performance of the building. The certificate shall be accompanied by recommendations for the cost-effective improvement of the energy performance.

The objective of the certificates shall be limited to the provision of information and any effects of these certificates in terms of legal proceedings or otherwise shall be decided in accordance with national rules.

  1. Member States shall take measures to ensure that for buildings with a total useful floor area over 1000 m2 occupied by public authorities and by institutions providing public services to a large number of persons and therefore frequently visited by these persons an energy certificate, not older than 10 years, is placed in a prominent place clearly visible to the public.

The range of recommended and current indoor temperatures and, when appropriate, other relevant climatic factors may also be clearly displayed.

(Source: Directive 2002/91/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, Official Journal L 001 , 04/01/2003 P. 0065 - 0071)


1 Answer 1


No. The letter rankings cannot be compared between nations in the EU, as each nation has a different number of grades (or no grades at all).

From "A comparative analysis of the energy performance certificates schemes within the European Union: Implementing options and policy recommendations":


This is because each nation has its own method (within EU guidelines) for how EPCs are developed. It's possible that grades may be comparable between two specific nations, however you'd need to look at each nation's specific legislation around EPCs in order to compare.

  • 1
    I did think that German Es looked a lot better insulated than British Cs!
    – gerrit
    Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 8:27

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