Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Household Energy Regulations for Ireland

BER Certification by Andrew Waldron

Beginning January 1st, all homes and apartments offered for sale or rent in the Republic of Ireland will require a Building Energy Rating (BER) certificate. This certificate is essentially a rating of how efficiently your home uses energy. The BER certificate is expected to become a new factor taken into consideration when purchasing a home.

Companies have been established to provide BER certificates to this new market. But what is a BER certificate and why is it now required to sell a home?

- The BER is expressed in the form of performance bands. "A" is the most efficient, while "G" is the least energy efficient. This grading is comparable to the energy labelling for electrical appliances in the home, which allows comparison between the energy consumption and efficiency of home appliances.

- The Building Energy Rating Certificate (BER) is part of the Energy Performance of Buildings EU Directive. (Regulations S.I. No. 666 of 2006)). The purpose of the regulation is to make the energy performance of a building more understandable to the general public and to make possible a comparison of energy efficiency between different building types and sizes.

- The BER is calculated using information obtained from a buildings energy use for space heating, water heating, ventilation and lighting. The rating is defined as the primary energy use per unit floor area per year. 'A' Rated properties will tend to be the most energy efficient and will in general have the lowest home energy bills.

The new certification process should make home owners more aware of energy efficiency issues and some of the possible solutions available.

Andrew Waldron

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