BERs Domestic and Commercial

BERs commercial

What is a BER?

A BER (Building Energy Rating) is standard calculation of the energy performance of a building, produced by a qualified assessor using procedures including calculation method and software approved by SEI and including a survey of the building where required by direction of SEI. It is rather like the mpg or l/km rating for a motorcar or the A to G rating for a household electrical appliance.





Why is BER being introduced to Ireland?

Building Energy Rating is being introduced to Ireland to meet our obligations under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive 2006. Following from the Kyoto protocol the EU has decided to implement strategies aimed at reducing CO2 emissions. Research carried out indicated that the CO2 emissions from buildings in the EU could be reduced by up to 22% through improved efficiency in this sector.


When is a BER required?

Building Energy Rating certification is now required for all new homes and for existing homes when offered For Sale or Rent from 1st January 2009. New homes where planning was applied for before 1st Jan 2007 and which were complete to wall plate level by the end of June 2008 are not required to have a BER done.


Who are SEAI?

Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEI), formerly the Irish Energy Centre was set up by the government in 2002 as Ireland's national energy agency to promote and assist the development of sustainable energy. SEI has responsibility under the European Communities (Energy Performance of Buildings) Regulations (SI No 666 of 2006) for the registration of BER Assessors.


What is SEI's role as "Issuing Authority"?

SEI has responsibility under the European Communities (Energy Performance of Buildings) Regulations (SI No 666 of 2006) for the registration of BER Assessors, for the maintenance of a register for BER Assessors, for maintaining a methodology of BER assessment, for registration and maintenance of a register of BER Assessments, for certain quality assurance functions in respect of the scheme including determination of training requirements & operational standards and for the collection of registration and assessment fees from BER Assessors.


How will the BER of Existing Dwellings be carried out?

The BER assessor will normally survey the dwelling to record, for example, the size of the dwelling, the construction, the insulation levels, the types of windows, the ventilation features, details of the heating and hot water systems, etc. This information will then be used to generate the BER which represents the energy performance of the dwelling. All BER assessors will be required to follow a standardised procedure using an approved survey and calculation methodology to generate the rating. A BER of an existing dwelling being offered for sale or letting on or after 1st January 2009 must be carried out by a registered BER assessor, at the expense of the owner - who must provide the resulting BER certificate and advisory report to prospective buyers/tenants.
What will happen if I do not obtain a BER for my dwelling as required by law?
If you do not comply with a BER requirement you will be liable, on conviction in the District Court, to a maximum fine of 5,000. Failure to secure a BER certificate at the proper time could hinder or delay the legal completion of a sale or letting or a future disposal of the relevant dwelling.



Is there a danger that the BER requirement will delay property transactions?

The phased introduction of the implementation of the BER system should ensure that there is an adequate supply of registered BER assessors to meet the service demand that will arise when each phase is made mandatory. The target turnaround time for production of a BER for dwellings - from the date of first communication by the vendor, lessor, or agent to a registered BER assessor to publication on the BER register - is two weeks. Following this period, the BER certificate can be issued to the client and confirmed online at www.sei.ie/ber. The BER assessor will submit the results to SEI for publication on the BER register, and then be able to generate the BER certificate and advisory report for issuing to the client.


How long will the assessment take?

The inspection and assessment of the property is usually completed within one hour. The client will then receive their certificate within approximately 7-10 days.


What about independence of the Assessor?

It is a requirement of the EU leglislation that the assessment be cerried out by an independent assessor. The SEI code of conduct which all BER assessors must sign up to precludes assessors from carrying out a BER assessment on a property where they have a material financial interest in the outcome of the rating other than the fee charged for the rating service. It is in the interest of all parties that independence is strictly adhered to so that there is full confidence in the system.


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 next house purchase or rental decision. Existing home owners can also benefit from a BER on their home as it will give them an indication of how they can improve the energy efficiency of their buildings through increasing insulation, heating controls, energy efficient lighting, etc.


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 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.


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