BER Certification and Assessment

What is BER?

A BER Cert is similar to the energy label for a household electrical appliance like your fridge. The label has a scale of A-G. A-rated homes are the most energy efficient and G the least efficient.

From the 1st of January 2009 a BER certificate is compulsory for all homes being sold or rented. If you are buying or renting a new house or apartment now, you are entitled to a BER.

Along with the BER certificate, you will also receive an Advisory Report which will help you to identify how you might improve the energy performance of your home.

A BER is based on the characteristics of major components of the dwelling (wall, roof and floor dimensions, window and door sizes and orientations) as well as the construction type and levels of insulation, ventilation and air tightness features, the systems for heat supply (including renewable energy), distribution and control, and the type of lighting. It covers annual energy use for space heating, water heating, ventilation, lighting and associated pumps and fans, calculated on the basis of a notional standard family with a standard pattern of occupancy.

The energy performance is expressed as:

  1. (a) primary energy use per unit floor area per year (kWh/m2/yr) represented on an A to G scale (see BER certificate); and
  2. (b) associated Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions in kgCO2/m2/yr (see BER Certificate)

A BER is only an indication of the energy performance of a house. Actual energy usage will depend on how the occupants operate the house. In that way it is similar to the concept of a fuel economy (miles per gallon or litres per 100 km) rating for a car.

A BER does not cover electricity used for purposes other than heating, lighting, pumps and fans, i.e. does not include for cooking, refrigeration, laundry etc.

What are the benefits of a BER?

A BER makes the energy performance of a home visible to prospective buyers and tenants and enables them to take energy performance into consideration in their next house purchase or rental decision.

How long is a BER valid for?

A BER is valid for up to 10 years provided that there is no material change to the dwelling that could affect its energy performance. The maximum term of validity of a Provisional BER is 2 years.