What is Building Energy Rating (BER)?
An EU directive on the energy performance of buildings means all homes require a Building energy rating certificate (BER). This is effectively an energy label, similar to those found on electrical appliances such as washing machines. A person wishing to sell or rent a house will be required to get an energy rating carried out and to provide prospective buyers or tenants with this information. This will allow potential buyers to take energy performance and energy costs into account when considering what property to purchase or rent.
How much does a BER cost?
Prices vary so shop around. Prices start from around €130
How long will a BER remain valid?
A BER for a building will be valid for 10 years from the date of its being issued, unless there is a material change in the building in the meantime which could affect its energy performance – for example an extension to the building, a significant change to the building fabric or a change in the heating system or fuel used. Therefore if a property which has received a BER is placed on the market within 10 years of that BER being issued, and the property has experienced no relevant alteration in the meantime, then that same BER may be used by the building owner for the purposes of meeting their obligations under the Regulations.
When is a BER required?
The building owner must obtain a BER before a new building is occupied for the first time regardless of whether it is offered for sale or rent.
When a new or existing building is offered for sale or rent the seller / landlord must provide a BER to prospective buyers or tenants. BER details must be included in advertisements when a building is offered for sale or rent.
How can the rating be improved?
The advisory report which accompanies the BER certificate contain recommendations on how to improve the energy performance of the dwelling including:
insulating the hot water cylinder and pipework;
increasing the insulation in the walls/attic/floor;
installing advanced energy efficient glazing;
measures to achieve controlled healthy ventilation;
replacing an old or inefficient boiler with a more efficient boiler;
installing modern heating controls;
installing certain types of renewable energy heating systems