Domestic and Non Domestic BER Certs

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Domestic BER Certs

All residential buildings, by law, now require a Building Energy Rating or BER Cert if they are being sold or rented. This give potential tenants or investors a good indication of how difficult a building will be to heat.
A BER Cert will always be accompanied by an Advisory Report outlining the ways that your property can improve it’s energy rating
All new houses also require BER ratings. As part of the BER Assessment the house is checked for Building Regulation compliance. This should be done as early as possible to ensure that energy saving techniques can be applied at the design stage.
A new building that does not comply with the building regulations may cause serious problems in the future when you try sell the house

Non Domestic BER Certs

All commercial buildings, by law, now require a Building Energy Rating if they are being sold or rented. This give potential tenants or investors a good indication of how difficult a building will be to heat.
Heating and air conditioning costs contribute significantly to a businesses overheads so it is important that a energy assessment is carried out before you commit to a lease on a commercial building

Domestic BER Cert

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[accordion_item id=”item_1″ title=”What is a BER Cert?”]

A BER Cert is a Building Energy Rating for your home. It is similar to the energy rating on your electrical appliances such as fridges and dryers. It has a varying scale from A-to-G. A-rated buildings being the most energy efficient and G-rated buildings being the least energy efficient. The purpose of the BER Cert is to give an indication to prospective buyers or tenants of how much energy will be required to maintain comfort in a home.

A qualified BER assessor registered with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland SEAI calculates how energy efficient your homes is based on your heating system, hot water, lighting, insulation levels and construction types. The information is gathered by means of a detailed survey of your home and processed using computer software approved by SEAI. The BER Cert is then issued by SEAI and is Valid for 10 years

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[accordion_item id=”item_2″ title=”Who needs a BER Cert”]

Since the 1st of January 2009, a BER certificate has become compulsory for all homes and commercial properties being sold or rented. A BER certificate has been compulsory for almost all new homes since 2008. The law obligates both a seller and his/her agent to provide these certificates to the prospective purchasers/tenants of all properties.

A BER Cert is required under the following circumstances:
The home owner must obtain a BER before a new home is occupied for the first time regardless of whether it is offered for sale or rent.

When a new or existing home is offered for sale or rent. The seller / renter must provide a BER to prospective buyers or tenants.
BER assessments performed on new homes also help determine compliance to Part L of the Building Regulations.

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[accordion_item id=”item_3″ title=”What is a Provisional BER Cert?”]

A Provisional BER is generally carried out off the plans of a house at the design stage. Many planning authorities now look for a Provisional BER Cert to ensure that the proposed plan complies with part L of the Current Building Regulations

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[accordion_item id=”item_4″ title=”What is a Non Domestic BER Cert?”]

A Non Domestic BER Cert operates on the same principle as the Domestic BER Cert except that it is a much more complicated procedure. As a commercial property generally contains more building services and more energy use, a different computer software and methodology must be used. In order to become a Non domestic BER Assessor you must have a Level 8 Honours degree in Engineering or a related discipline.

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[accordion_item id=”item_5″ title=”Who needs a BER for non-domestic buildings?”]

A Building Energy Rating (BER) and advisory report is to be supplied by the owner to a prospective buyer or tenant when a non-residential building is constructed, sold or rented. From 1 July 2008 a BER is required for new non-residential buildings for which planning permission is applied on/after that date. From 1 January 2009 a BER is required for existing non-residential buildings, when offered for sale or rent.

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[accordion_item id=”item_6″ title=”How long is a BER Cert Valid For?”]

A BER Cert 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 heating fuel being 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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[accordion_item id=”item_7″ title=”What are the advantages of having a BER Cert?”]

A BER Cert identifies how energy efficient a property is. This can be beneficial to a seller who has upgraded the property through the Better Energy Scheme as the BER Cert will illustrate a better rating and so it will make the property more attractive and easier to sell at the asking price. Similarly if a property is not very energy efficient the BER Cert will illustrate this, making potential buyers aware of the inefficiencies in the property.

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[accordion_item id=”item_8″ title=”How can I improve my property if my BER Rating is Low?”]

The Better Energy Home Scheme offers a range of grant assisted measure you can undertake in order to improve the BER Rating in your home. The most effective measures are:

  • Upgrading Attic Insulation
  • Upgrading wall insulation
  • Upgrading your boiler and heating controls
  • Upgrading Windows

Upgrades with lesser impacts are:

  • Replacing bulbs with energy efficient light bulbs
  • Insulating your hot water tank
  • Replace the open fire with a stove

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[accordion_item id=”item_9″ title=”What will happen if I do not obtain a BER Cert 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.

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[accordion_item id=”item_10″ title=”Are any buildings exempt from having a BER Cert?”]

Yes, there are exemptions for certain categories of buildings, e.g. protected structures and certain temporary buildings (Ref. S.I. No. 666 of 2006). A summary of the main exemptions is as follows:

  • National monuments, and protected structures;
  • Stand alone buildings of less than 50m2;
  • Buildings used as places of worship;
  • Temporary buildings;
  • Industrial and agricultural buildings not intended for human occupancy where the installed heating capacity does not exceed 10W/m2;

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[accordion_item id=”item_11″ title=”What is the BER requirement under the Better Energy scheme?”]

The Better Energy scheme provides grant aid to homeowners towards upgrades of roof insulation, wall insulation, and heating / heating control systems. In order to measure the impact of the Better Energy programme, SEAI has introduced a requirement for homeowners to undertake a BER after the upgrade works have been completed. This BER is a standard BER, undertaken in accordance with the prevailing guidelines for BER of existing homes. The BER assessment is to be completed by assessors further to a site visit after BES works have been completed, and carried out strictly within the rules provided in the BER Assessor’s Code of Practice, the DEAP Methodology and the DEAP Survey Guide. The BER will reflect the actual energy rating of the house following installation of HES upgrade works, and must be published on the NAS database.

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[accordion_item id=”item_12″ title=”What grant is available for undertaking a BER?”]

A homeowner is only entitled to BER funding of €100 once per home. This funding will be applied to the Homeowner’s grant application, automatically, provided that they have never applied previously for BER funding. They will be informed during the online grant application process if BER funding is available for their home, or as part of the “Letter of Grant Offer” if applied through the post.

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[accordion_item id=”item_13″ title=”When must the BER be undertaken?”]

The BER Cert can only be issued after all the works are completed and checked by the BER Assessor

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[accordion_item id=”item_14″ title=”Who can do a BER Assessment?”]

BERs can only be carried out by suitably qualified persons who have been trained in accordance with the requirements of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). When a person has trained to become a BER assessor and subsequently passes the appropriate examinations, he/she then signs a code of conduct and applies to SEAI for registration.

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[accordion_item id=”item_15″ title=”What the Homeowner can expect from a BER assessment?”]

Once you have selected your Assessor and signed a letter of engagement the BER assessment can take place. The Assessor will make an appointment to visit your home so that they can complete a BER assessment survey on it. When the Assessor arrives at your home they will conduct a non intrusive survey. A BER assessment will typically take a couple of hours to complete (depending of course on the home size and complexity). The Assessor will need to have access to all the rooms in your home. During the survey they will be measuring the area of the rooms, measuring the windows, the thickness of the walls, the levels of insulation, the heating system, the number of flues, the floor types and the wall types. The Assessor will typically collect 80 pieces of data which describe your home, which are then entered by the Assessor into the BER software tool in order to generate the BER.

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[accordion_item id=”item_16″ title=”What impact will BERs Certs have on owners selling or renting a building?”]

BERs have been legally required for all new and existing buildings since the 1st of January 2009. It is expected that these requirements will fundamentally increase awareness of energy performance as a factor in the property market. Those with better rated buildings (i.e. more energy efficient) will be motivated to highlight this as a positive selling point, while those with poorer rated buildings may be motivated to upgrade their homes, as set out in the accompanying BER advisory report.

It is expected that investments in the energy performance of buildings will benefit both owners and users in terms of improved comfort, lower energy running costs and possibly higher property values. Over time the energy performance of buildings is expected to become a significant positive contributory factor in market behaviour.

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[accordion_item id=”item_17″ title=”Who are the SEAI?”]

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), formally Sustainable Energy 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. The SEAI has responsibility under the European Communities (Energy Performance of Buildings) Regulations (SI No 666 of 2006) for the registration of BER Assessors.

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[accordion_item id=”item_18″ title=”What is SEAI’s role as Issuing Authority?”]

The SEAI 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 and operational standards, and for the collection of registration and assessment fees from BER Assessors.

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[accordion_item id=”item_19″ title=”How much does a BER Assessment cost?”]

The cost of a BER Assessment depends on the shape and size of a building. It also depends on whether the building is existing, a new build or a commercial property. The cost of the BER varies considerably from one form to another. For a no obligation quote please Visit Our Contacts Page

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