If you’ve been looking into buying, building or improving an energy efficient home, you’ll no doubt have come across the word BER time and time again. Here’s the most commonly asked questions, answered.
What is a BER Certificate?
BER stands for A Building Energy Rating and is a certificate that indicates your home’s energy performance. That performance is rated on a scale of A-G with A being the most efficient and G the least. The better the rating, the lower the energy bills will tend to be. Having a good BER certificate will also increase the value of your home.
What does a BER certificate take into account?
The BER cert will consider all aspects of your home’s energy efficiency. This will include dimensions of the floor and roof, windows and doors as well as your insulation and heating systems.
Why do you need one?
You are required by law to have a BER certificate if you are renting or selling your home. Since January 2013, it has been compulsory for all homes, for sale or for rent, to include their BER rating when listed.
How do you find out your BER rating?
If you don’t know your home’s BER rating, you can check it on the SEAI National BER Register. You will need your MPRN or BER number in order to do this. Your MPRN number can be found on your electricity bill and your BER number can be found on the BER Certificate and Advisory Report.
How do you get one?
You can get an assessment carried out by SEAI registered BER assessors, which you can find here. They will conduct a survey of your home (this typically takes about an hour for a three bed, semi detached home.) to ascertain how much energy your home requires for hot water and ventilation, for heating and for lighting. The SEAI have a great Homeowners Checklist which will allow you to prepare this assessment as best you can. Following an assessment, you will be provided with a BER Certificate and an Advisory Report.
How much does it cost?
There is no set price list for a BER assessment. It’s recommended that you get three quotes from different assessors to ensure you’re getting the best value. From our own research we’ve found that prices tend to start from approximately €150-180 for a one bed flat/house and increase depending on location, accessibility, room numbers, whether you have an extension etc..
There is a BER grant of €50 available through the SEAI with further amounts available if improvements are made following the assessment. Please note that some assessors charge an additional sum for processing grant paperwork.
How long does a BER Certificate last?
A BER cert is valid for 10 years.
There you have it, the most commonly asked questions about BER certificates answered.