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ABOUT: Building Energy Rating (BER)

Building Energy Rating (BER):

 

From the 1st January 2009 a BER certificate is required for all properties (domestic & non domestic) sold or let/rented in Ireland, irrespective of building regulation status.

 

The following is the GABC interpretation of the BER scheme, in terms of the building regulations:

 

FOR DWELLINGS:

 

When a new dwelling has commenced constructed after the 1ST July 2008, the requirements of T.G.D. -L 2007 apply i.e. a BER certificate is required. The following are the exceptions:

 

 When the work commenced before the 30th June 2008, the requirements of T.G.D. L, 2005 apply (BER still required)

 When the planning permission or approval was applied for prior to the 30th June 2008, and substantial work has been completed prior to the 1st July 2009, T.G.D. –L, 2005 applies (BER required)

 

When a new dwelling has commenced construction after the 1st January 2007, the requirements of T.G.D. -L 2005 apply i.e. a BER certificate is required. The following are the exceptions:

 

 When the work commenced before the 30th June 2006, the requirements of T.G.D. L, 2002 apply, therefore no BER certificate is required.

 When the planning permission or approval was applied for prior to the 30th June 2006, and substantial work has been completed prior to the 30th June 2008, T.G.D. –L, 2002 applies, therefore no BER certificate is required.

 

FOR NON DOMESTIC BUILDINGS:

 

When a NON DOMESTIC BUILDING has commenced constructed after the 1st July 2008, the requirements of T.G.D. -L 2007 apply i.e. a BER certificate is required. The following are the exceptions:

 

 When the work commenced before the 30th June 2008, the requirements of T.G.D. L, 2005 apply, therefore no BER certificate is required for NON DOMESTIC BUILDINGS.

 When the planning permission or approval was applied for prior to the 30th June 2008, and substantial work has been completed prior to the 30th June 2010, T.G.D. –L, 2005 applies, therefore no BER certificate is required for NON DOMESTIC BUILDINGS.

 

BUILDING ENERGY RATING HISTORY AND CONTEXT

 

The EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) (2002/91/EC) is the European Union law that requires all member states to introduce legislation for energy certification (or rating or labelling) of new buildings and of existing buildings whenever let or sold, and for public buildings. The European legislation was transposed into Irish law by Statutory Instrument 666 of 2006.  

 

From 01/01/2009, a Building Energy Rating (BER) certificate and advisory report must be in place for every new or existing building (or a unit within a building) that is offered on the rental or sale markets.

 

Apartments in apartment blocks and shop/office units within shopping centres or similar or within converted buildings all count as units requiring BER. Failure by the building owner (or the building owner’s agent) to have BER in place and available to potential renters/buyers, is an offence.

 

The building owner or agent can be prosecuted through the Courts and fined up to €5000 and/or 3 months imprisonment. The Building Control Authority (Galway City Council, Galway County Council) is the body that polices this.

 

Click here for SEAI’s guide to BER.

 

BER Certificates/Advisory Reports are prepared by Registered BER assessors. To become a BER assessor, training courses must be attended and exams and CPD exams passed. This ensures that all buildings are assessed by the same methodology and under the same set of rules. The registration of assessors and the registration of certificates is operated by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).

 

Apart from the cost of training courses, exams, CPD exams, Assessors must pay €1210 to SEAI to become registered, and €121/annum to stay registered, €30.25 for every domestic BER registered, and €60.50 for every Non-Domestic BER registered.

 

Currently (July 2010) there are:

2128 registered Domestic BER assessors in the republic (134 in Galway)

435 registered Non-Domestic BER assessors in the republic (19 in Galway)

 

Up to June 2010, 21,691 BER Certificates/advisory reports have been issued for new dwellings, and 104,715 for existing dwellings.  

 

To ensure that all buildings are BER assessed on an equal basis, SEAI have prepared special computer software and a set of rules for building assessment. About 15% of all assessments submitted for registration are rigorously audited by SEAI.

 

There is no requirement for a BER certificate or advisory report in the cases of buildings that are :

• National Monuments

• protected structures or proposed protected structures

• places of worship

• temporary buildings

• industrial buildings not intended for human occupancy and with a heating capacity of less than 10W/m²

• stand-alone buildings of less than 50m²

 

Opponents of the BER system complain that it is just another revenue-earning scheme of Government. This is not the case. All monies paid to SEAI through administering the BER system is used toward running the system.

 

When we buy a car, we need to know more than just its purchase price. We also need to know (or have a good idea of) its running cost. Thus we need to know the annual costs of insurance, servicing, road tax, fuel consumption etc., as all these factors contribute to the car-buyer’s decision. For this reason, all new cars sold in Ireland since 01/07/2008 have a rating label that gives this information to the car-buyer. Click     for a sample. 

 

Similar banding/labelling systems operate for household appliances. In the case of cars and appliances, the manufacturer arranges for all the necessary tests to be done, and the same certificate is applicable for

 

The same is true for buildings - the BER certificate gives the rating (A (best) to G worst)) that the purchaser/renter needs in order to make an informed decision.

 

Click here  to see a typical BER certificate for a dwelling.

 

Other European countries include in their BER system a requirement that the building’s energy rating must be included in all marketing material when a building or unit in a building is offered for sale or letting. This is not a requirement of the Irish legislation yet, but the BCAs have written to all estate agents from time to time reminding them of the requirement that a BER must be in place before properties are marketed.

 

TGD-L

This information is not an interpretation of the Law and is provided for information purposes only. GABC are not responsible for any losses that may be incurred through the use of the information contained within this website.