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Energetic Renovations in Portugal

Energetic renovations are most likely necessary after buying a property in Portugal, especially if it’s older. In this article we walk you through energy laws in the country and how to better go about your energetic renovations. 

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Energetic renovations in Portugal

The European Parliament has agreed that homeowners should make energy-efficient renovations to their homes. All structures with the poorest energy efficiency must be renovated by 2030. As a result, residential structures must be updated to energy efficiency standard D by 2033 and standard E by 2030. In the EU, this has an overall impact on 15% of all buildings. 

Energy Efficiency Directive

Public buildings will be subject to the emission-free requirement starting in 2030 and for all new construction starting in 2027. By 2027, vacant buildings must be renovated to energy efficiency standard E, and by 2033 at the latest, to standard D. 

From 2028, all new construction must have solar systems, assuming it is technically and financially feasible.

Energy certifications

By 2025, all energy certifications for buildings must be rated on a standard scale from A (highest energy efficiency) to G (lowest energy efficiency) in order to define their energy efficiency class. Also, the requirement to present an energy certificate will be increased: Future major renovations, rental contract extensions, and planned building sales will all require the energy efficiency class to be determined and declared. Therefore, ads for sale or rent must include include the energy efficiency class.

What does this imply for a property in Portugal?

There is now no pressing need for individual families to take action because the EU Commission’s recommendations are legislative suggestions. The guidelines will also be incorporated into the member states’ national climate strategies.

As a result, it’s still impossible to say with certainty which rules will be in effect in Portugal. Furthermore, it is yet unclear what costs will be associated with the clean-up responsibility and how these are to be specifically handled. The EU Commission has, however, requested that member nations “develop relevant tools for low-income households” and incorporate them within the regulations for public and private finance.

energetic renovations portugal

In Portugal, how is the energy certificate currently determined?

The “certificado energético” is a report that rates a building’s energy efficiency on a scale of A+ (extremely efficient) to F (not very efficient). It is produced by accredited professionals who have been approved by the Agência para an Energia (ADENE).

It includes details of the building’s structural qualities as well as the amount of energy used for various purposes, including producing hot water and heating and cooling the home. It also includes efficiency-improving measures like installing double glazing, better insulation, or more effective equipment to cut usage. The type of certificate and the building determine the document’s validity duration.

  • 10 years for residential structures, small businesses, and service structures
  • Eight years for major commercial and service buildings, and they need to be renewed at the end of that time.
What does this indicate for future real estate purchases?

The Energy Performance Certificate must be presented in Portugal if you want to sell a home. It is also mandatory to display the property’s rating when it is advertised. But frequently, the new energy certificate is not obtained until there is a potential buyer for the property. The buyer now has two options for adjusting to the increased energy efficiency requirements:

  • You only choose homes that already have the corresponding rating, preventing the need for additional renovations.
  • Before submitting your initial offer, you obtain a quote for the required energy upgrades, and you include them in the offer you wish to submit for the house. Pearls of Portugal helps you to find the right expert.
Frederik Pohl
Frederik Pohl, CEO
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energetic renovations portugal

How can I make my house more energy efficient in Portugal?

An energy refurbishment is a great investment. But from the beginning, you should keep an eye on the costs. There is no universal response to the question of how much an energy-related renovation will cost.

The main options for energetic renovations in Portugal are much the same as those in other countries:

A solar thermal system

Solar thermal energy can be used for both heating and hot water. Its average installation cost is 3.250€.

Solar protection and facade insulation

By insulating the facade, you can lower the building’s heat loss and keep it from overheating in the summer. The structure’s exterior often receives insulation, but the interior of the building can also be used to insulate the walls.

Installing a solar energy system (photovoltaic systems)

Solar energy is converted into electricity using photovoltaic systems. In addition, a solar energy storage system makes sure that solar energy produced during the day may be used, for instance, at night. The average cost is around 3.000€. Each solar panel has about 380Wp.

Insulation of the roof

The insulation for a roof is is usually put in between, above, or below the current supporting framework. The insulation layer is placed in a variety of methods to the supporting structure in the case of a flat roof. The cost depends heavily on the size of your roof and the material you choose, of course. For example, when insulating a roof with stone wool and plasterboard on a 30m2 house, the average price would be 1.600€.

Basement ceiling insulation

Insulation for the basement ceiling might come from above or below. You may, for instance, install the insulation layer beneath the floor covering of the living space above while insulating from above. The insulation boards are fastened to the basement ceiling when insulate from below.

Window replacement and sun protection

In most instances, window systems with premium double glazing already satisfy the standards. Using outside shades and awnings as sun protection measures enhances summer thermal insulation. You can get a government partial refund when installing Energy Class A+ windows for example, which would come at an average cost of 200€/window. 

Ventilation system installation or replacement

A ventilation system lessens moisture and odors, stops the growth of mold, and enhances the indoor environment. Systems with heat recovery are especially effective in conserving energy. In Portuguese they are called “VMC” systems and they can be either simple or dual flow. An average cost for a simple flow VMC in a 4-bedroom house would be 2.000€, whereas for a dual flow the price rises to 5.000€.

System upgrade for heating

When a heating system is paired with a solar system for heating support and hot water preparation, a significant quantity of energy is saved. Installing a heat pump in Portugal is around 3.000€.

energy renovations portugal

Sustainable Building Support Program 2023 (Energy Efficiency Program)

In 2023, the Portuguese government announced a program meant to encourage people to start energetic renovations on their property (Programa de Apoio a Edifícios Mais Sustentáveis) – financing up to 85% of the entire project. Some of the renovation services applicable for the partial refund are the instalment of A+ energy class windows, solar panels and air conditioning. Anybody who’s an owner, co-owner or permanent tenant in Portugal can apply.

With the program in mind, the Portuguese government hopes to achieve:

  • Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
  • Reducing the country’s energy bill and dependency
  • A reduction of at least 30% in primary energy consumption
  • Improved comfort for the population
  • Improved indoor air quality, which brings health benefits
  • Extending the buildings’ useful lifespan

How much support can I get from the Government for my energetic renovations in Portugal?

The reimbursement rate for projects and equipment eligible for government support is set at 85%, whereas for projects involving floors, walls, and roofs, it’s at a rate of 65%. However, these support ceilings mentioned do not incorporate VAT and can vary depending on the nature of the interventions or the needed equipment.

Renovating costs

Of course, the program comes with a few limits. The base maximum refund for the Sustainable Building Support Program per individual is 7.500€. However, for properties outside Lisbon and Porto, the limit increases by 10% depending on the typology of renovation – which we’ll look at next. Moreover, if you present more than one application for the program (for more than one property, that is), the maximum refund value will be increased by 5% for the second property and 10% for the third.

Which energy renovation typologies are there?

  • Typology 1: Installation of Class A+ efficient windows
  • Typology 2: Thermal insulation in roofs, walls and/or floors
  • Typology 3: Space heating and cooling systems that use renewable energy, of energy class “A+” or higher
  • Typology 4: Installation of photovoltaic systems and other renewable energy production equipment for self-consumption
  • Typology 5: Any renovation aimed at water efficiency

Who can benefit from the Sustainable Building Support Program?

For your application to be approved, your property must be either completely detached (‘unifamiliar’) or a separate fraction of a building or group of buildings (‘fração autónoma’). It must also be registered for habitation. The energy efficiency program also covers houses in which work has been carried out up until July 1, 2021, as long as they fall under typologies 3, 4 and 5.

How can I apply to receive financial support from the Government for energetic renovations in Portugal?

In order to apply for the program, you need to submit your application here. You will be asked to create an account and submit a plethora of documentation, such as:

Frederik Pohl
Frederik Pohl, CEO
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