GEAK: building certificate of the cantons
The GEAK (building certificate of the cantons) is a document recognised throughout Switzerland. The GEAK certificate shows how energy-efficient a building shell is and how much energy this building consumes on average (i.e. under normal usage). For this purpose the GEAK categorises buildings in energy classes from A to G – along the same lines as the energy label for washing machines, refrigerators and lights. This enables buildings to be compared with one another, which is helpful not only for purchase and rental offers but also for planned refurbishments.
GEAK Plus goes significantly further than the basic GEAK document. GEAK Plus comprises a comprehensive consulting report drawn up by a GEAK expert. It is an initial step towards building refurbishment. It lists specific measures for improving the energy efficiency of the building under analysis, such as window refurbishment, façade insulation and roof insulation. Furthermore, GEAK Plus contains two to three individual options for energy-oriented refurbishment. Its refurbishment plan sets out how the proposed refurbishment can be divided into stages, what investments are to be expected and which funding options are available for the proposed measures.
The GEAK costs for a single-family dwelling normally amount to between CHF 450 and CHF 650, depending on the outlay. The GEAK Plus costs for most single-family dwellings lie between CHF 1,800 and CHF 2,200.
The GEAK classes, or to put it more precisely the energy classes pursuant to GEAK, range from A to G – from very high energy efficiency to very low energy efficiency. By way of comparison, a building with energy class A has excellent thermal insulation and windows with triple glazing. Energy class D typically contains old buildings that have been extensively insulated but still contain thermal bridges – i.e. have not been altered much structurally. G as the worst GEAK class is the label for old buildings that are not or are only poorly insulated and have old windows.
A GEAK certificate can be issued just as easily in Thurgau as in Berne or Zurich: GEAK experts are to be found in all parts of the country and are specialists offering energy consulting and building analyses: a GEAK expert has the requisite training and professional experience. While the term energy consulting is not protected, only certified specialists may issue a GEAK or GEAK Plus.
GEAK funding – or funding for GEAK Plus – is available in most cantons. It is important to apply for this before the GEAK or GEAK Plus is issued. The best thing is to contact the energy office of your canton or energy officer of your municipality about this in advance.