A Building Energy Rating (BER) Certificate rates the overall energy efficiency of your home. Dwellings with an ‘A’ rating are the most efficient while those with a ‘G’ rating are the least efficient. As of January 2009 all homes being sold or rented require a BER cert before being listed*. This will ensure greater transparency for potential buyers.
You need to contact a trained BER assessors, registered with Sustainable Energy Ireland. To find an assessor near you please click here. Alternatively you can contact us for some recommended assessors in the area.
Your house will be assessed based on energy use for ventilation, lighting and heating (for both space and water). The number of people likely to reside in your property will also have a bearing on the result.
Once you make no changes to your home that will negatively impact on its energy performance your BER cert is valid for 10 years.
Prospective buyers will usually factor in your homes BER grade when making an offer. An ‘A’ rated home will save the buyer energy costs in the long run so they may be willing to pay more for it now rather than a similar ‘C’ rated home.
If you want to improve your home’s grade in the BER assessment there a number of measures you might consider. However, many of these are costly and take time (which you may not have if you’re looking for a quick sale!) so for the purpose of this article we will only discuss quick and low cost steps:
Replacement of traditional light bulbs (tungsten or incandescent) with energy saving bulbs (CFL or LED) can reduce lighting costs significantly. They also last considerably longer than ordinary light bulbs thereby saving on replacement costs. Consider replacing traditional light bulbs with energy saving bulbs. This change is deemed low cost.
Most hardware stores sell a variety of draught proofing material. Self- adhesive foam strips can help fill the gap between the window and the frame. With doors there are a number of draughts that require attention: the keyhole can be covered with a purpose built metal disc; the letterbox can be fitted with a flap or a brush while the gap at the bottom of the door can also be fitted with a brush.
We hope this article has given you a better understanding of the BER system. For further information please see the SEI website.
*Protected structures may not require a BER cert.
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