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BER DEAP software, anyone managed to get the SEAI XML file to work or load with it?

  • 30-05-2022 10:55pm
    Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 6,415 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Irish Steve

    So, we had a BER done in 2020, and I'd like to see what the effect of potential changes here might mean, and I've got the relevant XML file from SEAI, but there's no information on how it can be used with the latest software, it seems that it can't be loaded into the online system, unless you're a registered surveyor, and I don't know if it can be loaded into the spreadsheet version that can be downloaded from their website.

    Anyone here done anything with the latest version (4) of this software, or are the SEAI effectively pulling a fast one now with this latest version, by making it unusable with the most recent updates?

    Shore, if it was easy, everybody would be doin it.😁

    Post edited by Jonathan on


  • Registered Users Posts: 305 ✭✭ Biker1

    If you have DEAP 3 on your computer then import the xml into that and use the information for input into DEAP 4.

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 6,415 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Irish Steve

    Don't have DEAP 3, and from a quick look, the XML file that I have, which I'm not sure is a complete file, was prepared on DEAP 4,

    From what I can see of it, while in theory SEAI are meeting their legal obligation to provide "outsiders" with access to the information, it's not a lot of help to you, as the only people that can actually use it to achieve any sort of result are the registered assessors, so effectively, yet again, state sponsored closed shop rip off, between having to get a BER AND a HEA in order to qualify for some grants, with no guarantee when you start the process that you'll actually qualify, it's another excuse to line the pockets of a select few, and it's a serious expense if you don't qualify.

    Smoke and mirrors, Wild West cowboys, there are several phrases to sum up some of the experiences that are out there, and it's only going to get worse for some time to come, and I see absolutely nothing in what Government are talking about that will help make things easier or better for hard pressed home owners.

    Shore, if it was easy, everybody would be doin it.😁

  • Registered Users Posts: 305 ✭✭ Biker1

    So what you are saying is that someone should analyse your house for free to see if it is eligible for a grant.

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 6,415 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Irish Steve

    No. I am happy to pay a reasonable sum for the work, but before I commit to it, I want to be reasonably sure that I am going to get the result I expect, and not end up with a problem when the result doesn't give a high enough rating for grant purposes, and even more so if the situation then develops whereby making changes to get a valid result then has to be paid for again to prove it.

    The nearest equivalent is something like the NCT, if I fail the test, the recheck may be free if it only needs someone to eyeball that the reapair is in place, and if equipment has to be used, the charge is 50% of the original, as long as it's done within a specific time frame.

    SEAI are not even suggesting a scheme like that.

    What I want to do is take my current 2020 BER, which has a number of errors in it, correct those errors, and doing that may not be in my favour once they are in place, and then see what difference (for example) changing the windows, or the doors, will make, or look at the effect of different insulation, things like that, so that I can get a better idea of what the options might be, and that doesn't need any one else involved, and doesn't need anyone to come and do any work on site at this stage.

    If the results I get make it worth my while considering spending a lot of money, then I will go down the road of making absolutely sure that I qualify, etc and pay for the work to be done, but having already had one bad BER that looks like it was done to acheive a result rather than reflect reality, I'm not exactly enthusiastic to spend out on another set of reports that might not produce the result I am expecting.

    In the same vein, 30 years ago, I did all the necessary work to size the heating system for this house, having done the same for a house we converted from 2 ancient cottages 15 years before that, and the result was that we ended up with one of the few heating systems on our estate that worked.

    With the way that things have changed, I need to do the same calculations again, using different insulation values, different temperatures for the water flow in the radiators, to see if it's worth changing our oil based heating system to a heat pump, or to another system such as a wood pellet stove. I'm well aware that there's some work involved in that project, but having done it twice before, I am not about to spend large sums of money to get the investigation done, as bluntly, I'm not confident that I will get that level of result if I get an external contractor in, if my previous BER is anything to go by.

    The building trade does not have a good reputation as a result of the activities of the Celtic Tiger cowboys, and most of them were trained by the builders that built our estate, and I've seen more than enough smoke and mirror quotes in the last while to be very suspicious of a lot of them. I can't afford to be ripped off by a fly by night salesman that knows next to nothing about the devices he's selling,. and probably won't be around to support them for very long either. The sort of upgrades most houses need is not quick, cheap or easy, and there are too many people out there who are trying to sell quick and easy fixes, and in a year or two, they'll move on, and leave the home owner to deal with the consequences of their activities, and I am not prepared to go down that road.

    So no, I'm not looking for a freebie. I just want to make very sure that when I do agree to spend a lot of my money, I am getting the result I expect.

    Shore, if it was easy, everybody would be doin it.😁

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,713 ✭✭✭ Metric Tensor

    DEAP 4 cannot import XML files. The SEAI, for some crazy reason, decided that there would be no need for two separate people to ever work on the same project.

    If you open the XML though you can probably manually read the input data and type them back in to DEAP 4 by hand. You could definitely manually read the DEAP 3 xmls - I've never opened a DEAP 4 one. (And I think they are going to phase them out soon because of how they are changing the publishing system)

    Edited: I just opened one of the DEAP4 xmls for a look. In theory it would be possible to manually enter it if you knew DEAP4 intimately but it much more time consuming and annoying than my hazy memory led me to believe!

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  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 6,415 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Irish Steve

    Sounds about right, and no more or less than I expected, SEAI made it pretty clear that making the information useful to people like me is not something they are wanting to do. It will be interesting to see how they get round the legal issues of being required to make the information available to a home owner, the present situation as far as I am concerned is that they may be complying with the letter of the law, but they are very much NOT complying with the spirit of the law, in that effectively, the XML file is useless to the home owner, as it can't be read by a BER program to produce the relevant output.

    My interest is that the current BER wasn't great, and I don't want to be paying out for another to be done at the moment, in that some of the work that's going to be done hasn't been done yet, but I'd like to know what the end result of that work will be, if for no other reason than to have an idea if we're anywhere close to being able to consider a heat pump, without breaking the bank to run the thing, and the thought of paying for effectively a third BER to actually get to the point of grant approval does not impress me one little bit, and if for some reason we didn't "make the grade", we could be looking a yet another BER, which could make it 4 in less than 2 years, That's not acceptable, and a complete waste of money from my viewpoint, given that a huge percentage of the work is not going to have to be done again, it's already in the computer system.

    It really should not be this hard or this expensive to do something that's relevant to the upgrade process that many houses are going to be facing over the next decade

    Shore, if it was easy, everybody would be doin it.😁

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,713 ✭✭✭ Metric Tensor

    If you're handy at coding I'd say it would be relatively easy to create a script that would re format the XML file into an easier to read CSV or excel file.

    After that it wouldn't take much over an hour to transpose the data by hand from your new CSV into DEAP 4.

    Try asking the SEAI for the "Dwelling Report" from the original DEAP4 file that was the source of your BER. It has the exact same info as the XML file but in a more human readable PDF format.

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 6,415 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Irish Steve

    That may well help, I have the Dwelling report, and have used some of the information in that to put into the (non uploadable) DEAP system, but there are some areas where it's not easy to determine the exact figures to go in to specific boxes, I was hoping that there would have been an easy way to get the data from the XML into the spreadsheet version of the DEAP system that's downloadable from the web site, but it seems that there's no easy way to do that.

    I will get there eventually, but it really should not be this hard to get a result that is actually helpful to the home owner, while I get that the country needed a BER system of some sort, I have to wonder how we ended up with something that's so unfriendly, and so limited, the more I look at it, the more I realise just how limited it really is.

    Yes, it gives a comparison between houses on their energy usage, but there are so many loopholes and issues around the way it does it, I have to question how valuable it is to most people, it's looking more and more to me like a way for the government to be able to tick boxes at a European level, whereas what's needed is a realistic way to provide the home owner with an accurate indication of how energy is being used in their property, and what changes will influence that usage in the most economic way.

    Shore, if it was easy, everybody would be doin it.😁

  • Subscribers Posts: 38,383 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat

    "like a way for the government to be able to tick boxes at a European level,"

    That's exactly what it is

    "a realistic way to provide the home owner with an accurate indication of how energy is being used in their property,"

    That's exactly what it's not.

    I say this as a BER Assessor