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What is a BER rating and why does it matter? 10 things you should know!

10 things you should know about building energy ratings (BER).

Recently all we are hearing is BER this and BER that… But, what exactly is a BER rating and why are they becoming so relevant over the past number of years? Below we have outlined 10 things you should know about building energy ratings and why you should aim to improve your own BER rating.  

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1. What is a BER certificate?

BER stands for Building Energy Rating and it signifies the efficiency of a property. Homes are rated on a scale from A-G, with A being the most efficient rating that you can achieve, and G being the least energy efficient rating for a home. 

2. How do they calculate my BER?

A BER rating is calculated by taking into consideration both the size of the building and the number of occupants per space area with the amount of energy used. A BER assessment can only be carried out by a registered SEAI BER assessor who will publish your BER rating on their website. 

3. Do I have a BER rating?

If you do not know what a BER rating is, likelihood is, you are not going to know whether your home has a published BER rating. Luckily, the SEAI have a national BER register which you can search using your MPRN number. Your MPRN number can be found on the top of your electricity bill, Therefore, all homeowners can check if there was ever an assessment carried out on their home.

If you have recently purchased a new home or have had a BER assessment completed in the past, your certificate and advisory report should have been provided to you by your estate agent or BER assessor. It is also important to note that BER ratings expires after 10 years.

4. How do I get a BER assessment on my home?

There are several BER assessors across Ireland. You can find a list of SEAI registered assessors on their website. Following your assessment your BER assessor will be able to advise on the best energy saving improvements for your home.

5. What to prepare for my assessment?

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6. What should I expect when the BER assessor comes?

To make a calculated decision on the building energy rating of your home, The BER assessor will need access to all areas of your home including the hot press, attic, and measure cupboards.  

During the BER assessment, the information collected by your assessor will include several calculations, measurements, and photographic evidence.

7. How long will the BER assessment take?

Every home is different in size and complexity. On average, a BER assessment takes approximately one hour to complete. Once the assessment is complete, the assessor will use a software (DEAP) to enter the information that they have collected. This will calculate and generate your BER.

8. What do I receive when my BER assessment is complete?

After the assessment, you will receive a BER certificate and advisory report. The BER certificate will show the BER rating of your home, and the advisory report will provide recommendations for home improvements that could increase the energy efficiency of your home. 

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9. Why should I improve my BER Rating?

Improving your BER will not only make your home more appealing to potential buyers and tenants if you ever decide to sell or rent the property. It can also increase the efficiency of your heating, and significantly reduce your energy bills across the board. 

There are also several grant incentives currently available for upgrading your home. These include insulation, solar PV panels, air-to-water heat pump and the actual BER assessment itself. So now is the ideal time to look at upgrading while the incentive is there.  

10. How can I improve my BER rating? 

There are some smaller changes you can make which will also result in energy savings and an improved BER, but things like installing an air to water heat pump and solar PV panels will not only increase your BER rating it will save you hundreds of euros every year. NRG Panel are Irelands leading renewable energy installer with over 8,000 installations nationwide. We will be able to give you advice on the measures best suited to your home. The other great thing about NRG Panel is that we will look after BER assessment for you so you don’t need to worry about the nitty gritty details and you can focus on the savings you will be making for the future.

If you are considering Air to water heat pump, you should read this article.

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