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FAQs

Energy Certificates – Frequently Asked Questions

What is a BER Certificate?

A BER is similar to the energy label for a household electrical appliance like your fridge. The label has a scale of A-G. A-rated homes are the most energy efficient and G the least efficient. Click Here for an example of what a Building Energy Rating Certificate looks like.

The energy performance is expressed as follows:

Primary energy use per unit floor area per year in kWh/m2/yr, represented on an A to G scale (see BER certificate) and Associated Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions in kgCO2/m2/yr (see BER Certificate).

Who needs a BER Certificate?

A BER certificate is compulsory for all except few limited exceptional homes and commercial properties being sold or rented. The law obligates both a seller and his/her agent to provide these certificates to the prospective purchasers/ tenants of a property. The exceptions are explained in a separate question below.

If my rating is very low, do I need to improve my dwelling?

No. A BER Certificate is designed to provide the prospective purchaser or tenant of a property with information about the energy characteristics of a particular dwelling. It simply ensures that the purchaser or tenant knows whether they are getting an energy-efficient dwelling or not.

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 Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI). When a person has trained to become a BER assessor, he/she signs a code of conduct and applies to SEAI for registration. All BER assessors employed by Shane Black Property Advisors have been examined and registered by SEAI.

It is an offence for persons not registered with SEAI as BER assessors to purport to carry out a BER assessment service for the purposes of the Regulations.

How much does a BER Assessment Cost?

BER assessment prices vary significantly and are quoted differently by different providers. Some quote a price that does not include VAT and others quote prices that do not include the €25 registration charge that is paid by the BER Assessor to SEAI for each rating. Shane Black Property Advisors quotes an all-in fee. So, for example, if we quote €160 including VAT and the SEAI registration charges, this comprises our BER assessment fee of €107.23, SEAI’s €25 registration charge and VAT of €27.77. Shane Blacks policy is to always quote prices that are in line with those of comparable competitors.

How often do I have to get a BER done?

A BER Certificate is valid for 10 years. If the dwelling is significantly modified during that time, the owner and his/her agent has an obligation to obtain a new BER Certificate. Failure to do so can result in penalties.

How is a BER Assessment done?

The procedure for carrying out a BER of a dwelling in Ireland is known as the Dwellings Energy Assessment Procedure (DEAP). To carry out a building energy rating, a BER Assessor will visit the dwelling to be rated and collect a variety of information about the dwelling. Details of the information collected by the BER Assessor are available in SEI’s DEAP Survey Guide. The BER Assessor then calculates the energy rating using the DEAP calculation software. When he/she is satisfied that the rating is correct, he/she will send it electronically to SEAI’s National Administration System (NAS) where it is recorded and a BER Certificate is issued. The BER Certificate is returned by the NAS to the BER assessor who delivers it to his/her client.
A similar procedure has been established for commercial properties.

Does the rating take account of how efficiently I use energy in the home?

No. A BER is an assessment of a dwelling. It does not take any account of the energy usage behaviours of the current occupants of a dwelling. The calculation methodology makes certain assumptions about how the users of any particular dwelling would use water, heat, lighting etc.

How long does it take to get my BER done?

Normally, we can arrange for a BER assessor to carry out a BER Assessment within a day or so of receiving your order. The on-site assessment normally takes about one hour. When the BER assessor completes the assessment he/she has to compute the rating, submit it to SEAI to have it entered on the national BER register and then produce a BER Certificate. Typically, we will mail the BER Certificate within a couple of working days after the BER assessment has been completed but if a client needs a faster service, this can be provided.

Who is SEI and what is their role?

Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI) is Ireland’s national energy agency. Its mission is to promote and assist the development of sustainable energy. It operates under the aegis of the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

SEAI has been designated as the body with responsibility to manage the implementation of the energy performance of buildings regulations. This legislation is Statutory Instrument Number 666 of 2006 and it can be found by clicking this link to the document on SEAI’s website.

SEAI has produced an extensive web site dealing with all aspects of the building energy rating initiative. It has also published a short brochure that outlines the key features of the initiative.

What buildings are exempt from BER legislation?

The Irish BER legislation exempts a number of buildings from the requirement to have a BER certificate. Some key exemptions are:

  • National monuments and protected structures
  • Stand alone buildings of less than 50 m2
  • 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
  • New dwellings for which planning permission was applied for or a planning notice was published on or before 31st December 2006 and where substantial work was completed by 30th June 2008
  • New buildings, other than a dwelling for which planning permission was applied for or a planning notice was published or for which an application for certification under the Dublin Docklands Development Authority Act 1997 on or before 30th June 2008 and where substantial work is completed by 30th June 2010, except when such building is offered for a second or subsequent sale or letting
  • New dwellings in respect of which an application for certification for the purposes of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority Act 1997 was made on or before 31st December 2006 and where substantial work was completed by 30th June 2008
  • Any building, other than a dwelling, which is exempted development by virtue of Section 25 (7)(a)(i) of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority Act 1997 and where substantial work on such development is completed by 30th June 2010 except where such building is offered for a second or subsequent sale or letting
  • Every care has been taken in the preparation of this information, however it is not intended as legal advice to property owners or agents. Owners and agents seeking to establish whether they are exempt from the legislation are advised to contact their solicitor and/or to read the legislation carefully