What is a BER Certificate ?

A Building Energy Rating (BER) Certificate is an energy efficient label for your home. It is similar to the energy label on electrical appliances with a scale of A to G. “A” rated homes are the most energy efficient and will have the lowest energy bills where as “G” has the most inefficient and will have the highest energy bills.

  • A BER Certificate is compulsory for all new homes constructed from July 2008 i.e. where planning permission was applied for on or after 1st January 2007. Exemptions apply to listed buildings of outstanding architectural or historical importance.
  • A BER Certificate is compulsory for all homes being sold or offered for rent from 1st January 2009. If you are buying or about to rent a house or apartment now, you are entitled to a BER Cert, so ask the seller, landlord or their agent for it

If you have any questions to ask or if you want a quotation for some work then fill in the form below or email / phone us at any time. We will respond as soon as possible.

What does a BER look like ?

For a sample BER certificate click here

How long does a BER Cert last ?

A full BER Cert is valid for 10 years from the date of issue so long as there is no material change during this time that could affect its energy rating. If a dwelling is purchased off the plans a provisional cert is issued and this is valid for 2 years from the date of issue. The builder would be responsible to have a full BER carried out before selling the property.

What information does the BER Cert hold ?

The BER Certificate provides information on the following:

  • The BER for the dwelling
  • The dwelling’s name and address
  • The BER number
  • The date of issue
  • The date the BER is valid until
  • The BER Assessor number
  • The assessor company number
  • The rating of the dwelling
  • A Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions indicator

How is a BER calculated ?

Firstly, before calculations begin on a BER, there are some standard assumptions made:

For example, standard room temperatures are taken, the lounge at 21°C and the rest of the dwelling at 18°C. Heating schedule is taken from 7am to 9am and from 5pm to 11pm, heating season from October to May, etc.

BER is calculated using Dwelling Energy Assessment Procedure (DEAP). The DEAP software package is used for this calculation method, it measures the energy performance of dwellings, it takes into account the material used for construction of the dwelling, ventilation, fuel used to provide the space and water heating, thermal storage (mass) capacity of the dwelling, exposure of the dwelling and lighting of the dwelling.

The end result of a BER calculates the primary energy consumption, which is expressed in kWh per metre squared per annum (kWh/m2/yr) and quantifies the CO2 output in Kg of CO2 per metre squared per annum (kg/CO2/m2/yr). A performance category ‘A’ to ‘G’ is assigned to the energy consumption at this point.

Who can issue BER Certificates ?

Only a registered Building Energy Rating assessor can carry out BER Certification. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is the governing body over BER Certificates and Assessors.

Who needs BER Certificates ?

From January 1st 2009 anybody selling or letting property is required by law to have a BER Cert, there is no obligation to make any of the recommended improvements from the advisory report. Exemptions apply to listed buildings of outstanding architectural or historical importance.

What happens when a dwelling is sold “off plans” ?

A ‘Provisional BER Certificate’ must be produced by the vendor to potential buyers or tenants, when the new dwelling is offered for sale “off plans”. This certificate is based upon the pre- construction plans. When the relevant new dwelling is completed , the vendor is obliged to arrange for a new BER Certificate to be supplied to the purchaser, based on the plans of the dwelling as constructed (to take account of any design changes during construction).

What happens if I build for my own use ?

Prior to the first occupation of a dwelling a BER Certificate must be produced by the dwelling owner even when the dwelling is for their own use.

When is a Building Energy Rating Cert legally required ?

A BER Cert is required by law, if planning permission was applied for, after the following dates:

January 1st 2007. BER Cert is required for new dwellings for which planning permission was applied for on or after this date, whether being constructed, offered for sale or for rent. Transitional BER exemptions will apply to new dwellings for which planning permission is applied on or before 31st December 2006, which is substantially completed by 30 June 2008.

July 1st 2008. BER Cert is required for new buildings, other than dwellings, for which planning permission was applied for on or after this date.

January 1st 2009. BER Cert is required, by law, for anybody selling or letting property.

What are the legal implications for non-compliance?

There is a maximum fine of €5,000 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 3 months, or both, for not having a BER Cert when required, for not complying with authorised officers to enter, inspect buildings etc.

Why should I get a BER Cert and what are the benefits ?

  • You are required by law to get a BER Cert on a property if you fall into any of the categories listed above.
  • Add value to your home and make it more sought-after when selling or renting.
  • Improve and lower your energy heating costs – savings on energy and fuel bills.
  • Lower CO2 emissions.

What can be done to improve a BER for an existing dwelling ?

  • Increase the insulation on the hot water cylinder, or replace it with a factory insulated one.
  • Insulate pipe-work
  • Install heating controls such as TRV’s (Thermostatic Radiator Valves)
  • Install a stove instead of an open fire
  • Increase the insulation in walls, floors and attic
  • Improve the windows with more energy efficient glazing
  • Replace your old boiler with a higher efficiency condensing boiler

See our Energy Saving Tips page

How long should it take for the assessor to do the site survey ?

All site surveys are expected to be non-intrusive (for example, the assessor is not expected to drill walls to confirm construction or to lift carpets and floor boards to confirm insulation). For new dwellings an assessment can be completed from the plans & specifications follwed by a site survey. Existing dwellings always require a site survey to gather information and the time it takes depends on the size and complexity of the property. A standard 3 bedroom house normally takes about an hour to an hour and a half to complete.

How long does it take before I receive the BER Certificate ?

We can have a BER Cert ready by agreement within 24 hours or always within 3 working days after the site survey.

Can someone who is not looking to sell or rent their property make good use of a BER Cert ?

Definitely !  Making recommended changes to energy efficient products can save hundreds of Euro a year or more. Insulating cavities in walls, lining ceilings and floors with insulation, installing double glazed windows and better heating systems such as combination boilers, are just a few ways to make your property’s heating more efficient.  Grants are available from SEAI through the Better Energy Homes   scheme for houses constructed before 2006.