National System for Energy and Indoor Air Quality Certification of Buildings (SCE)
The buildings certification system in Portugal operates in conjunction with two sets of building regulations applied to construction, the Regulations on Thermal Behaviour of Buildings (RCCTE) and the Regulations on HVAC Systems in Buildings (RSECE), fully transposing the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). The SCE, which entered into force on 1 July 2007, aims to save energy and protect the environment. The timetable for implementation of the SCE is divided into three phases with full implementation in January 2009 at which time all contracted buildings will be included: new houses, sales and leases. In the first phase, the legislation only covers new buildings designed for housing or services with a floor area measuring more than 1,000m2 and whose licensing and construction permit applications are submitted from the first of the month. The second phase, which comes into force on 1 July 2008, includes all licensing applications for buildings regardless of their floor area. A key aspect of the SCE is the Energy Certificate. This document will assign an energy performance label to residential and service buildings and list measures for improving the energy performance of these properties, thus increasing energy savings by 20 to 40% and reducing subsequent CO2 emissions. The energy label allows the residential or service units to be classified on an efficiency scale ranging from A+ (high energy efficiency) to G (poor efficiency). This is similar to the scale used for some domestic equipment and appliances and allows for easy reading and interpretation by the consumer. The cost of issuing a certificate by a qualified expert varies according to building type and complexity. Its registration is subject to the payment of a variable charge based on the propertys use. As of July 2007, all non-residential buildings required an Energy Certificate. As of 1 July 2008, this applies to all new buildings, which must obtain a at least a B classification. All buildings will require certification from January 1 2009. The SCE also involves a management support system, in the form of a website, which provides information on the certification process and an advertising campaign "Lets save energy to save Portugal".
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