Israel launches energy efficiency rating for new apartments, helping calculate costs

With residential houses accounting for 30% of country’s electricity use, government says system will help buyers anticipate heating, air conditioning costs, save up to 30% on bills

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

A view of a construction site for new apartment buildings in the southern city of Beersheba on July 28, 2022. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
A view of a construction site for new apartment buildings in the southern city of Beersheba on July 28, 2022. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

New apartments will have to be marketed from now on with an energy efficiency rating to enable prospective buyers to calculate their likely energy costs, according to a joint statement issued Tuesday by the ministries of energy, environmental protection and housing.

The new policy, which brings Israel into line with EU regulations, came into effect on Sunday following an amendment to the country’s sales law in June.

Residential buildings account for some 30 percent of Israel’s total electricity consumption, according to the Energy Ministry, which also pointed out that occupants of units with high energy efficiency ratings can save up to 30% on heating and air conditioning costs.

Developers will have to register the ratings on an Energy Ministry database and inform prospective buyers about them.

The ratings resemble those for household electrical appliances, ranging from A+ — which denotes the highest level of energy efficiency — to F.

They are based on a building’s shell components, as well as elements such as thermal insulation, window size, the quality of the glass, the building’s location and sunlight penetration, which causes heating.

The new rules join green building standards that became mandatory in March and which are aimed at making buildings more energy-efficient, cutting pollution, reducing construction waste and promoting recycling and a circular economy in the materials industry, and, in doing so, reducing ecosystem damage.

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