Homes in Flanders increasingly more energy efficient than standards require

Homes in Flanders increasingly more energy efficient than standards require
Credit: Office of Nawal Ben Hamou

Twice as many houses in Flanders have been built or renovated in a more energy-efficient way than the applicable standards require, according to reports from Belgian newspaper De Zondag.

In 2021, exactly 51,747 Flemish households built or renovated their house to make them more energy efficient than the so-called "E-level" requires, which is twice as many as in 2019, when 26,862 families did so.

This is a score used in the region that indicates how energy efficient a building is, and achieving the correct score is one of the EPB requirements (energy performance regulations) for a new building or during a major energy renovation. The lower the score, the more energy efficient the building is.

Benefits of lower E-levels

Those who construct a new property or renovate one, resulting in the property becoming more energy efficient than is required, enjoy a sizeable discount on their taxes through certain premiums or reductions.

"If you build a very energy-efficient new home (with an E-level lower than the standard) or carry out major energy renovations, you may be eligible for the reduction of the real estate tax for an energy-efficient new building of 50% (or even 100%)," a government website reads.

However, if the E-level is higher than the maximum E-level of the year in which the building or renovation application was made, this will result in a fine. "The greater the breach, the higher the fine." Homes that are built or rebuilt this year must meet E-level 25.

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" Anyone who builds houses that are more energy efficient than the E-level currently in force will receive a financial boost through a reduction in their property tax. More and more people are making that effort," Flemish MP Robrecht Bothuyne said.

In 2021, a reduction of over €30.5 million in property tax was granted through the assessment notices of the E-levels. On average, this is a discount of €590 per year for five years.

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