NEWS

Bill aims at energy tests on buildings

All buildings being rented or sold in Greece will have to pass an energy efficiency test, according to a draft bill submitted to Parliament yesterday. The draft law, submitted by the Development Ministry, will come into effect in six months and will apply to properties above 50 square meters being sold or rented, regardless of age. «The real estate market and the relevant authorities are being asked to familiarize themselves with the new facts immediately in order to avoid delays,» said Development Minister Christos Folias. «There will be an information campaign in regards to the procedures that will need to be followed in order to obtain the certificate as quickly as possible and with the least expense to owners.» The government will also put together a team of inspectors to check that the measure is being adopted. Currently the energy certificate is only needed for buildings that are over 1,000 square meters that are new or being renovated. Buildings account for 40 percent of total energy consumed, on a European level, and account for 50 percent of carbon dioxide emissions produced that contribute to the greenhouse effect. Opposition parties described the draft bill as being unclear and accused the conservative government of introducing an ineffective measure in order to simply avoid being taken to the European Court of Justice by the Commission.