Notary Public & Commissioner for Oaths

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A Brief Overview of the Law

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) give information on how to make one’s home more energy efficient and reduce one’s energy costs. EPCs contain information on your home's energy use and typical energy costs as well as a recommendation report suggesting ways how to reduce energy use and save money. 

EPCs carry ratings that compare the current energy efficiency and estimated costs of energy use with potential figures that your home could achieve. Potential figures are calculated by estimating what the energy efficiency and energy costs could be if energy saving measures were put in place. 

In Malta, the requirements of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, EPBD (2002/91/EC) have been transposed through the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations, 2008[1].

Clause 9.3 of the legal notice stipulates that "An Owner or his agent has to obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) in the form prescribed by these regulations when a building is constructed, sold or rented."

To be valid, the EPC has to be obtained from an independent EPB assessor and registered with the Malta Resources Authority[2].

The EPC shall be valid for a period not exceeding ten years from the date of its first issue, provided that no major renovation or alterations occur in the building.

In the event that the owner, landlord or his/her agent does not provide the prospective buyer or the tenant with an EPC within the stipulated period, the buyer or tenant will have the right to engage an Assessor to issue the necessary certificate and, in all cases, the prospective buyer or tenant shall have the right to deduct the expenses incurred for the issue of the EPC from the amount of the sum agreed for the sale or the payments of the rent due.

Why does this interest me as a prospective first-time buyer?

Since the law clearly imposes an obligation on the seller to adhere with the request and to provide the buyer with a valid EPC, then it is YOUR right to demand that the seller adheres to this procedure, at the seller’s sole expense.

Will a promise of sale fall if the seller fails to provide the EPC?

No, strictly speaking, the production of the EPC is not a mandatory requirement for the contract of sale, which means that one can still proceed with the contract of sale even if this certificate is not produced.

How can one protect himself therefore?

The best way forward would be to include a clause in the promise of sale which obliges the seller to provide the buyer with a valid EPC during the period of the promise of sale. In this manner, the EPC will be at hand on the date of the final deed of sale. Such clause should ideally also state that if the seller does not provide the said EPC, the purchaser may himself engage an Assessor for this purpose and the costs incurred in this process shall be deducted from the purchase price.

TVM News link below:

http://www.tvm.com.mt/news/min-ibiegh-jew-jikri-issa-obligat-juri-c-certifikat-dwar-l-energija-tal-bini/

For questions & comments kindly contact Notary Dr. James Grech LLD by email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling on 27331527 or 99229334.

Article written by Notary Dr James Grech. 



[1] L.N. 261 of 2008 (Malta Resources Authority Act - CAP. 423)

[2] Online list at https://secure2.gov.mt/EPC/information-assessors?l=1

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