BER Legislation

Building Energy Ratings (BERs) are required for new and old dwellings that are being offered for sale, lease or rent, under the European Communities (Energy Performance of Buildings) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 666 of 2006).

It is the responsibility of all building owners to produce a BER for inspection by prospective purchasers or leasees.

Check out our newly released BER Estimator.

The legislation covers the following:

Offences

The European Communities (Energy Performance of Buildings) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 666 of 2006), provide that certain actions in respect of BERs are offences punishable by fines and imprisonment. A full list of offences can be found in the regulations.

For example, the following offences are punishable by a fine not exceeding €5,000;

“Failure by the owner of a building or the agent of such owner to produce and allow inspection by a building control authority or an authorised officer thereof of within 28 days a printed copy of a BER certificate required in respect of that building by the regulations”;

“Making a statement for the performance of his or her functions to a BER assessor, to SEI or to an authorised officer that he or she knows to be false or misleading in a material particular or recklessly making a statement that is false or misleading in a material particular;

“Failing to disclose a material particular to a BER assessor, to SEI or to an authorised officer for the performance of their functions”

Implementation Dates

BERs are required in the following circumstances: New Dwellings A person offering a new dwelling for sale or letting (whether in writing or otherwise) is required to produce a copy of the BER to the building energy control authority for the area on demand and to any person expressing an interest in purchasing or renting the relevant building if planning permission was applied on or after 1st January 2007.

New Non-Residential Buildings: A person who offers a new building other than a dwelling, for sale or letting will be required to produce a copy of the BER to the building control authority on demand and to any person expressing an interest in purchasing or renting the relevant building if planning permission was applied for on or after 1st July 2008.

Existing Buildings (Dwellings and Non-Residential Buildings): A person who offers a new or existing building for sale or letting on or after 1st January 2009 is required to produce a copy of the BER to the building control authority on demand and to any person expressing an interest in purchasing or renting the relevant building.

Full details of exempt buildings can be found in the Regulations and include the following: a new dwelling for which planning permission was applied for or a planning notice was published on or before 31st December 2006 and is substantially completed on or before 30thJune 2008; a new building other than a dwelling, for which planning permission is applied for or a planning notice was published on or before 30th June 2008 and is substantially completed on or before 30th June 2010 except where such a building is being offered for a second or subsequent letting; Other exemptions include national monuments, protected structures, buildings or places of worship, and the regulations should be reviewed for full details.

What Impact Will BERs Have on Owners Selling or Renting a Dwelling?

The regulations apply to new dwellings for which planning permission was applied for on or after 1st January 2007 and to Existing Buildings (dwellings and other buildings) when offered for sale or letting on or after 1st January 2009. A person wishing to sell or rent a house will be required to get an energy rating carried out and to provide prospective buyers or tenants with this information. This will increase awareness of energy performance as a factor in the property market. Those with better rated homes i.e. more energy efficient homes will be motivated to highlight this as a positive selling point while those with poorer rated homes may be motivated to upgrade their homes as set out in the advisory report.

It is expected that investments in the energy performance of homes will benefit building owners and users in terms of improved comfort, lower energy running costs and possibly higher property values. Over time it can be expected to contribute to a change in market behaviour, which will ultimately improve the energy efficiency of the national housing stock and collectively, over time, these market activities could result in an environmental protection benefit in terms of a reduction in CO2 emissions from Ireland’s national building stock.

How long will a BER remain valid?

A BER for a building will be valid for 10 years from the date of its being issued, unless there is a material change in the building in the meantime which could affect its energy performance – for example an extension to the building, a significant change to the building fabric or a change in the heating system or fuel used. Therefore if a property which has received a BER is placed on the market within 10 years of that BER being issued, and the property has experienced no relevant alteration in the meantime, then that same BER may be used by the building owner for the purposes of meeting their obligations under the Regulations.