What is a Building Energy Rating (BER)?
A Building Energy Rating Certificate closely resembles the energy labels provided with new domestic appliances such as fridges or clothes dryers. A sample Building Energy Rating is shown (right). Properties achieving an ‘A’ rating are most efficient while properties achieving a ‘G’ rating are least efficient.
Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI), Ireland’s national energy agency, administers, audits and monitors the BER system. SEI also maintains a national BER register where individual BER Certificates are electronically filed and available for access by the general public when the BER number or the ESB MPRN number is known.
When is a BER required?
BERs have been required for all existing residential and commercial properties offered for sale or rent since 1st January 2009. BERs have also been required since 1st January 2007 for all new properties at planning stage.
How long will a BER remain valid?
A BER for a building will be valid for 10 years from the date of issue, 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 for sale or rent 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.
What is involved in completing a BER on your property?
For existing properties, a survey is required where all the necessary data necessary to complete the SEI DEAP (Dwelling Energy Assessment Procedure – Residential Properties) or SBEM (Simplified Building Energy Model – Commercial Properties) software is gathered. A residential survey will typically take 1-2 hours, depending on the property type. External and internal dimensions are recorded in addition to items such as the type of heating system, and window and door types. Once inputted into the software, a BER rating is calculated.
The time to complete a commercial survey will vary greatly depending on the property type. Typically, a set of building floor plans and elevations will also be required to establish the different types of activities (i.e. plant rooms, canteens, open plan offices) within a building and to zone each area. If drawings are unavailable a measured survey of the property is required.