ECD. These three letters never cease to be talked about. The Energy Performance Diagnosis, which classifies housing from A to G according to their energy consumption, must appear on all real estate advertisements published by professionals and individuals since January 1, 2022. The problem being that this DPE is far from be reliable, even if the calculation method has been reviewed.
The 60 million consumer magazine study last May already pointed out these errors from 4 houses with different characteristics. Likewise, UFC-Que Choisir has just analyzed 34 diagnoses carried out for 7 houses located in different regions of France and reveals multiple aberrations. Like 60 million consumers, the UFC saw stark differences on the energy label. Of the 7 houses screened, only one had the same energy class.
One of them was awarded the B label and the E label, ie 3 classes of difference for the same property. An oddity all the more strange that it is a green house with a wooden frame labeled low consumption. Heating is provided by a pellet stove, hot water is produced by a thermodynamic water heater and part of the electricity is provided by photovoltaic panels.
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Another aberration: the advice of diagnosticians. These professionals must list a series of recommendations concerning work aimed at improving the energy efficiency of housing. However, some advice is totally inappropriate and even out of all reality, denounces the UFC. An installer therefore advised the installation of a solar water heater even though the house in question was already equipped with one... Estimates for the work vary from €3,000 to €30,000 for the same property.
"Thus for the same house, from one report to another, the major causes of losses can vary completely. When one considers the roof well insulated, another considers it to be highly heat-loss... Elsewhere, the walls contribute to 49% of total heat loss, or only 19%“, comments the UFC-Que Choisir. "A diagnostician even suggests changing the patio doors and windows of a house, which would save 6 kWh/m² per year. It's ridiculous when you think that an iron has a power of 2.5 kWh. And this is ridiculous compared to the total consumption of the dwelling of 250 or 280 kWh/m²/year. This substantial expense is not enough to change the label“, cites as an example Élisabeth Chesnais, journalist specializing in energy issues at UFC-Que Choisir, at the origin of the study.
Perform multiple diagnoses
It is all the more staggering that a consumer who wishes to carry out an ECD to sell or rent his property will automatically consider that the choice of the diagnostician will not impact the classification of his accommodation. The diagnosticians contacted for the 7 houses studied by the consumer association all appear on a government site listing certified diagnosticians. Therefore, the UFC-Que Choisir recommends to owners who wish to sell their property or rent it to have several diagnoses carried out and to keep the most favorable one. Admittedly, the cost of a DPE fluctuates between 100 and 300 € depending on the departments and the diagnosticians, but this will always cost them less than a poor energy class. "It's the lottery. A festival of errors, of contradictions from one diagnostician to another. We come to ask that the DPEs be suspended until the State better trains the diagnosticians“laments Elisabeth Chesnais.