This study by Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) Berlin analyses, in how far EPCs have helped purchasers of owner-occupied dwellings in Germany to incorporate energy efficiency in their purchasing decisions. The results suggest that the effectiveness of EPCs is limited. Main reasons are that first the certificates are not helpful for understanding the financial implications of energy efficiency. Second, EPCs are not viewed for most buildings due to their current legal status. Third, energy efficiency is only a minor purchasing criterion for dwelling purchases.
The results of the study however also point to the potential of energy performance certificates, as these barriers can be removed. From 2013 onwards the use of the EPC will be increased due to the new EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). Changes to the design of the EPC – which would have to be tested in pilot studies – could further increase the importance of energy performance certificates and of energy efficiency