When Is A BER Required?

A BER certificate is required when a property is put on the market in any way, be it for sale or rent. There are fines of up to €5000 for not complying with this requirement.

What Is A BER Certificate?

The building energy rating certificate gives an indication of the energy performance of a building as well as the carbon emissions from the property. It is very similar to the energy labels that you find on electrical appliances. These labels give an indication of how energy efficient the appliance is and hence how much it will cost to run. An A rated appliance will cost less to run than a D rated one. In a similar manner, the BER certificate gives an indication of how energy efficient a property is and hence how much the energy bills will be. Properties are rated on a scale from A to G where A is the most energy efficient and hence should have lower energy bills than a G rated building.

What Is The Point?

The idea of the BER certificate is to give prospective purchasers or tenants an indication of how energy efficient a property is. They can then factor this into their purchase or rental decision. The building energy rating is a standardised system so it allows properties to be compared to each other in terms of energy efficiency.

How Is A BER Calculated?

The BER estimates energy used for space heating, water heating, ventilation and lighting. It is also important to note that it estimates this amount based on typical or average usage for a building of a certain size. The real life or actual energy usage will depend on how the occupants actually use energy. The BER cert doesnt take into account energy used for cooking, refrigeration, laundry etc.

There are different methodologies used to calculate a building energy rating for a dwelling than for a commercial building. However, they both essentially take in to account wall, roof and floor dimensions, window and door sizes and orientation as well as insulation levels, ventilation and air tightness. It also takes into account the heating and hot water system, controls and type of lighting

What Do I Get?

When you have a BER assessment carried out on your property, the assessor will provide you with a BER certificate and an advisory report that sets out suggested changes to improve the energy efficiency of the building. The energy rating of the property is just an indicator to prospective purchasers and tenants of the energy efficiency of the property, there is no pass or fail or  minimum rating that you must achieve. Likewise, the suggestions in the advisory report are simply just that, suggestions, you are under  no obligation to implement them.

Who Carries Out A BER Assessment?

BER assessments are carried out by registered BER assessors who have been trained under the National Framework of Qualifications and have registered with Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). All registered assessors are obliged to adhere to the BER Assessors Code of Conduct. In order to produce a BER certificate an assessor must carry out a detailed survey of the property. The assessor must have access to all areas of the property, inlcluding the heating equipment. The survey is completely non-invasive.

Are Any Buildings Exempt From A BER Cert?

A Building Energy Rating is valid for 10 years provided there is no change to the building that could affect its energy performance.
• Protected structures
• Buildings used as a place of worship or for religious activities
• Temporary buildings
• Industrial buildings not intended for human occupancy over extended periods and where the installed heating capacity does not exceed 10 W/m2
• Non-residential agricultural buildings where the installed heating capacity does not exceed 10 W/m2;
• A stand alone building with a total useful floor area of less than 50m2