The Balearic government needs to draft regulations for building rehabilitation. | Teresa Ayuga

Much residential property in the Balearics is highly inefficient in terms of energy and is therefore also the most polluting. The Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving in Spain highlights the fact that more than 40% of Balearics buildings in its register have the two lowest energy ratings (F and G). There are 125,650 buildings in the Balearics included in the register, and 54,385 have these ratings.

The Canary Islands is the only region with a higher percentage - 63.8%. The national average is slightly under 27%. The Balearics and the Canaries have in common the high number of buildings that are fifty or so years old as well as a lack of urgency to make energy improvements because of generally benign climatic conditions.

At present, energy renovation is dependent on regional regulations being approved. Last October, Congress passed a law for the rehabilitation of housing, with particular attention paid to energy efficiency. The Balearic government must now agree regulation in order that the islands receive some 30 million euros of European funds (annually) for this rehabilitation.

In this regard, the ministry of housing and representatives from the property sector have been working on a law that will facilitate building licences, these representatives being from associations for architects, quantity surveyors and finca administrators for community buildings.

The president of the association of surveyors and technical architects in Mallorca, Luis Alfonso de León, explains that many aspects would need to be addressed, such as increasing the thickness of the front of a building in order to improve thermal insulation. This, however, could lead to an "invasion" of the public way. This is just one example of the complexities facing the government.