BER Cert

BER Certs, some frequently asked questions

What is a BER Cert?

A Building Energy Rating (BER) is an indication of the energy performance of a building. It covers energy use for space heating, water heating, ventilation and lighting, calculated based on standard occupancy. It is expressed as primary energy use per unit floor area per year (kWh/m2/yr). “A” rated properties are the most efficient and will tend to have the lowest bills. It is calculated using software developed by the Sustainable Authority of Ireland.

Why do I need a BER Cert?

The European and international response to the environmental and global warming crisis includes a concerted effort to address the significant impact of the building and construction sector on these issues. Recognized as a key contributor to carbon emissions, this sector accounts for a substantial portion of energy consumption and CO2 emissions, with buildings alone responsible for 40% of total energy usage and 36% of CO2 emissions in the EU.


To mitigate these impacts, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) serves as a pivotal legislative tool in Europe, aimed at promoting energy efficiency within the building sector. In Ireland, the EPBD has played a crucial role in driving change. Initially introduced in 2002 as Directive 2002/91/EC, it mandated the development of a calculation methodology for assessing the energy performance of buildings and required the provision of energy performance certificates upon construction, sale, or rental of buildings.


The subsequent directive, 2010/31/EU (known as the EPBD recast), further bolstered these efforts by expanding the directive’s scope and raising standards. Notably, all new buildings are now required to meet nearly zero energy standards by December 31, 2020, reflecting a significant stride towards enhancing energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions in the built environment.

What is involved in the survey for a BER Rating?

The survey will encompass the following key aspects:

– Determining the orientation and shelter characteristics of the dwelling.

– Conducting precise dimensional measurements of the dwelling to ascertain its volume.

– Thorough dimensional assessments of all windows and doors.

– Examination of the building’s fabric, encompassing floors, walls, roofs, windows, and doors.

– Evaluation of the space and water heating systems, including the assessment of existing controls.

– Assessment of ventilation within the dwelling.

– Evaluation of the lighting setup within the dwelling.

You should allow between 1.5 and 2 hours duration for the survey, contingent upon the size and intricacy of the dwelling.

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