BER Rating: What Is It and How Can You Improve It?

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The best Building Energy Rating (BER) tanks from A to F. Our comprehensive guide to BER rating in Ireland covers everything you need to know on the matter. From BER certificates to the BER chart and its scale meaning, read on to get all the details.

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What Is a BER Rating?

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The initials stand for Building Energy Rating (BER) and the rating is used to measure your home's energy efficiency. Concretely, the BER scale measures how many kWh per square meter your home requires per year for the following items:

  1. Space heating
  2. Water heating
  3. Ventilation
  4. Lighting

How long does a BER rating certificate last? The BER rating certificate is valid for a period of 10 years. Should you make any structural upgrades, you should have your home reassessed. A high energy-efficiency rating increases the value of your home on the housing market.

What Is the BER Rating Scale?

To calculate your home's efficiency, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) came up with a grading scale from A to G. The less energy your home requires, the better the 'grade' and the lower you can expect your energy bills to be. These are the different from the efficiency scales for home appliances.

We describe in further detail below the meaning of each ranking found on the BER rating chart:

  • What Does Each SEAI BER Rating Mean?
  • A Rating:
    Your home uses less than 74 kWh of energy per square meter a year. These are usually given to newly built homes, purposefully built for energy efficiency and may include some solar panels.
  • B Rating:
    Your home requires between 75 and 149 kWh of energy per square meter a year. Typically handed for a modern home between 10 to 20 years old which may have had some renovations for efficiency.
  • C Rating:
    Your home needs from 150 to 224 kWh of energy per square meter a year. Often granted to a common flat in a 10 to 15-year-old development.
  • D Rating:
    Your home uses between 225 and 299 kWh of energy per square meter a year. Generally bestowed to a 20 to 40-year-old home with an old boiler and some insulation.
  • E Rating:
    Your home spends from 300 to 379 kWh of energy per square meter a year. Ordinarily assigned to houses that are 30 years or older with single-pane windows.
  • F Rating: Your home ranges from 380 to 449 kWh of energy per square meter a year. Usually delivered to an older home with single glazed windows and no insulation.
  • G Rating:
    Your home uses more than 450 kWh of energy per square meter a year. Historically applied to very old or abandoned dwellings.

What is the average BER rating in Ireland? According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), 37% of homes in Ireland receive a C from the BER rating chart, 24% obtain a D, and only 4% of homes receive the highest honours of an A BER rating.

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How To Get a BER Rating Certificate?

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Various assessors in Ireland can obtain a BER rating certificate for your home, so do take the time to shop around. As some of the 2022 SEAI grants require the BER certificate to be completed by one of the certified SEAI contractors, we recommend using one of these assessors for your home's evaluation. You can expect to pay close to €125 for the average 2 or 3-bedroom house.

It is important to note that only assessments carried out by SEAI contractors are recognised as valid should you want to make improvements to your home using one of their many energy-efficiency grants available.

Who needs a BER certificate? If you are looking to rent your home, or put it up for sale to a potential buyer, you are required by law to obtain a BER certificate. This evaluation is also useful to identify which home upgrades should be carried out first. You will also need a BER assessment if you're applying for a solar panel grant.

How Do I Find My Home's BER Rating?

If you have just moved into a new home, or are considering buying one, you will want to know what the dwelling's BER rating is. The easiest way to obtain this is by visiting the National BER Register page with your electricity's 11-digit Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN).

How can I find the BER rating for a business? The BER rating for non-residential buildings cannot be accessed through this registry. The landlord or building owner should provide you with the certificate upon request. Otherwise, you will need to contact the SEAI directly at 01 808 2054 or email them at [email protected].

How Can I Improve My Home BER Rating?

As we mentioned, the BER rating solely evaluates the energy-efficiency level of your home. To improve the rating, you will therefore need to make improvements to one or many of the following upgrades to your home:

  1. Insulation
    Whether this is for your attic, cavity wall, or any other parts of your home, it is one of the quickest and easiest ways to improve your home's energy efficiency.
  2. Windows and Doors
    Probably one of the more expensive investments you can make, however, windows and doors are where you can have the biggest impact on your home's BER rating.
  3. Renewable Energy
    You can now re-sell to the energy grid any power generated from a renewable source. Installing some solar panels on your rooftop, even in Irish weather, is another way to lower your home's carbon footprint on the environment.
  4. Home Heating System
    There are a multitude of choices in this category, but opting for some of the modern heating systems like underfloor heating or using a smart thermostat is another way to improve your home's rating.
  5. Lighting
    Even simple measures like using LED bulbs and other energy-saving tricks can have an impact on your BER rating.

 

Any of these upgrades do come with the bonus of obtaining energy savings as well, something we are all trying to do during this global energy crisis!

You can cut down significantly on the costs of these home improvements by applying for SEAI grants. Their latest range of schemes is very complete and, should you qualify, can even allow you to complete some renovations 100% covered by the grant!

Unsure which improvements to make? If you have any doubts, contact our experts here at Selectra. Our service is free and agents will be happy to assist you best they can with any energy-related question you may have, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 6 pm.

 1800 816 036

Why Is It Important To Improve Your BER Rating?

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There are various reasons one will want to improve your home's BER rating, some of these reasons are:

Have a look at the following example to better understand just how much savings improving your home's BER rating can have:

  • Savings by improving your BER rating
  • The average 3-bedroom house with an E rating would have an annual energy cost of €2,450 per year*.
  • The same home with a C rating would have a yearly bill of €1,300.
  • The savings come to €1,150 every year on your electricity and gas bill.

*Source: Understanding Building Energy Ratings (BER)

With such savings in energy costs, it is easy to see why investing a little in your home can go a long way. In less than 10 years, one can recover over €10,000 on their energy bills in this example. If you can have the bulk of these home improvement costs covered by one of these SEAI Ireland grants, the result will definitely be felt in your wallet!

BER Rating FAQs

What is a good BER rating?

Home's are graded by the BER scale, 'A' being the best possible rating a home can obtain, and 'G' being the worst.

How much does a BER rating cost?

The cost will depend greatly on the size of your home. For an average-sized 2 or 3-bedroom house, you can expect to pay in the vicinity of €125 to obtain your BER rating certificate.

The services and products mentioned on this website may only represent a small selection of the options available to you. Selectra encourages you to carry out your own research and seek advice if necessary before making any decisions. We may receive commission from selected partner providers on sales of some products and/or services mentioned within this website. Our website is free to use, and the commission we receive does not affect our opinion or the information we provide.

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