Jose Ospina

Building Energy Rating (BER) Assessment

What is a BER?

A Building Energy Assessment is similar to the energy label on an electrical appliance, and is given on a scale of A-G. A-rated homes are the most energy efficient and G is the least efficient. A BER Certificate is compulsory for almost all new homes built after 2008 and of for all homes sold or rented after January 2009. Along with a BER certificate, the homeowner also receives an Advisory Report, which will help to identify how they might improve the energy performance of their home.

Who is entitled to a BER?

A seller must provide a BER to prospective buyers or tenants when a home is completed sold or rented under the following circumstances:

  • New homes where planning permission was applied for on or after 1st January 2008
  • All homes for sale or rent after 1st January 2009
There are excemptions for certain categories of buildings, e.g. protected structures and certain temporary buildings. There are fines of up to € 5,000 for non-compliance.

How is a BER calculated?

A BER is based on the characteristics of major components of the dwelling (wall, roof and floor dimensions, windows and door sizes and orientations) as well as the construction type and levels of insulation, ventilation and air tightness features, the systems of heat supply (including renewable energy), distribution and control, and the type of lighting. It covers annual energy use of space heating, water heating, ventilation, lighting and associated pumps and fans, calculated on the basis of a notional standard family with a standard pattern of occupancy. The energy performance is expressed as:

  1. primary energy use per unit floor area per year (kWh/m2/yr) represented on an A to G scale, and
  2. associated Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions in kgCO2/m2/yr.
A BER is only an indication of the energy performance of a house. Actual energy usage will depend on how the occupants operate the house. In that way it is similar to the concept of fuel economy (e.g. litres per 100 km) rating for a car. A BER does not cover electricity used for purposes other than heating, lighting, pumps and fans, that is it does not allow for cooking, refrigeration, laundry, etc.

What are the benefits of a BER?

A BER makes the energy performance of a home visible to prospective buyers and tenants and enables them to take energy performance into consideration in their house purchase or rental decision.

Who carries out BER assessments?

BER assessments are carried out by registered BER assessors who have been trained under the National Framework of Qualifications regulations by SEI approved trainers. All registered assessors must adhere to the BER Assessors Code of Conduct produced by SEI.

Who is responsible for the BER scheme?

The BER Scheme was established by the European Commission (Energy Performance in Buildings) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 666 of 2006). Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) has been designated as the issuing Authority with responsibility for the registration of BER assessors, logging of BER assessments, and ongoing management of the BER scheme. SEI has put into place a comprehensive quality assurance system to audit BER assessors and BER assessments and to protect the integrity of the BER scheme. For more information see the SEI website Sustainable Energy Ireland or call 1890 734 237

How long is a BER valid for?

A BER is valid for up to 10 years provided that there is no material change to the dwelling that could affect its energy performance. The maximum validity of a provisional BER is 2 years.

What is a provisional BER?

New homes offered for sale off plans also require a BER. In these cases a Provisional BER will be issued based upon the design, drawings and building specifications. When the home is completed, a BER based on an assessment of the final drawings, which represent the house as constructed, is required. The BER must be supplied by the builder/developer on completion of any such homes sold off plans.

José Ospina Development Consultant is a registered BER assessor.

José Ospina Development Consultant has qualified and registered with SEI as a BER assessor. He can therefore offer a full BER service for both new and existing properties. The BER assessment includes an analysis of plans and specifications, survey, calculation of the BER, the production of issuing of an Advisory Report, and the issuing and registration of the BER Certificate. For more information click HERE.