Energy Ireland Report

Building Energy Rating (BER) Certificates – Worried ?

2008-12-12:  Thursday, 1 January 2009, is fast approaching, and any person offering an existing house for sale or rent around this time is being bombarded by all sorts of ‘marketing blurbs’ in the different media about having to produce a BER Certificate.


Don’t be worried.


When in doubt, go directly to the actual legislation … and in this case, it is Statutory Instrument No.666 of 2006: European Communities (Energy Performance of Buildings) Regulations 2006.


Legislation cannot be retrospective … so, if a house has already been offered for sale or rent before 1 January 2009, no BER Certificate is required.



BER Certificate Ireland
Colour image of an Irish BER Certificate. See S.I. No.666 of 2006: European Communities (Energy Performance of Buildings) Regulations. Click to enlarge.


And … if you care to look at the text on one of these ‘certificates’ (in the top right-hand corner), you will notice the following …


” The Building Energy Rating (BER) is an indication of the energy performance of this dwelling.”


However, unless long wave infra-red thermography has been used under proper conditions, by a competent person, as part of a comprehensive energy survey of the house … and thermal images were taken … and other accurate and precise information was gathered about the actual energy performance of this specific house … the statement in the BER Certificate is misleading.


There is only a very tenuous relationship between a BER Certificate and the ‘real’ energy performance of a specific building.


What’s more …. Energy Ireland (SEI) knows full well that this is the case.



In addition, as if that were not bad enough …. Energy Ireland (SEI) have been sitting on a Report for approximately 3 years which indicates that there is a general non-compliance rate of 70% (that’s right folks !) with the minimal – some might say “abysmal” – energy performance requirements, which apply to new houses, in Part L of the Irish Building Regulations.


And …. because everybody can see that our national system of building/technical control in Ireland is entirely inadequate, that figure of 70% non-compliance may be an underestimate.


Many, many months ago, I asked for a copy of this SEI Report.


I am still waiting.



[2009-01-12   Who did I ask ?   Mr. Brendan Halligan, SEI Board Chairperson & Mr. Kevin O’Rourke, SEI Head of Built Environment !]







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