If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact [email protected]

Post vs Pre install BER

  • 21-10-2022 4:39pm
    Registered Users Posts: 859 ✭✭✭

    Background: timber frame house built in 2009 to a fairly high standard (at time), HRV, double glazing, no fireplace/stove, airtight test done and B1 BER. Roll on 13 years later, solar panels/battery/eddi install and get BER done...and he;s thinking C1. Blaming it on original assessoe having different values on "the thermal performance of the building fabric: eg walls and window". The original BER data (air tightness test, specs on windows/insulation etc) are long gone (over 10 years). Anyone have this problem before?


  • Registered Users Posts: 97 ✭✭fael

    Haven't had that problem, but puzzled by the fact that he reckons it's a C1. I have dormer bungalow built in '98, when I bought the house 5 years ago it had a B3 cert from 2016. Had the boiler replaced and installed EvoHome for heating controls. Then installed PV, 8 kW and 5 kWh battery. Recently did BER as part of the SEAI grant and it's now an A2.

  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 7,833 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jonathan

    You'll need to get the certs for your high spec windows/doors otherwise they are obliged to use the defaults for the building regs in place at that time.

    How big a PV system did you add? PV has a disproportionate impact on the BER rating, so it sounds like without the PV, the BER assessor would be giving a D rating.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,453 ✭✭✭Evd-Burner

    I went from a C2 to a B1 with new front door, attic insulation upgraded to 300mm and 4.5kWp of solar.

  • Registered Users Posts: 189 ✭✭Curiousness99

    Went from b2 to b1 post installation of solar

    need to spend big money to go from B1 to A3

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,190 ✭✭✭✭ELM327

    C2 to B2. 1980's 6 bed house with pumped walls and good attic insulation but the windows need upgrading to get any higher

    Couldnt give a toss about BER, it's a nonsense job created by regulation.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 1,137 ✭✭✭DC999

    Well, the BER has a place to help inform people. I got a BER 10+ years ago (needed to change mortgage at the time). That was when I was fully ignorant of all thing’s energy related. It was a G and I asked was that a good result (spoiler for some readers, G is the worst). Family member got an F from the same assessor (similar house just marginally better). So at least people have some sense when they buy a house how good or bad it’s gonna be to heat. Not sure if it’s provided when renting. Ok, it’s a crude benchmark but it’s something.

    Plenty of places that BER rating falls down as we know. People have gotten high A’s on new builds but have gails of wind howling through the house. Or heat pumps that can’t turn off due to that and other poor setups. Tiny solar panel /small solar thermals setups on new builds are there to game the BER as we know. And some are never even connected. But that’s rogue builders / tradespeople or they are poorly informed of the impacted of new finishing parts of the insulation. Doesn’t mean the BER doesn’t have merits.

    But leaving aside my personal scepticism that banks are offering lower mortgage rates for certain BERs (to bump up their ‘green credentials’), that’s still driving people to learn more.

    Our BER is still an F on paper, btw, as haven’t got a new one just yet. We need new windows + doors in places and wall insulation – money isn’t there for it. But with an EV (non ICE), good attic insulation, solar and being very energy aware, I’m ok with us having an F.

    So you’re spot on that a BER rating isn’t a true reflection. But I feel it’s a decent starting point for the masses. And it’s also important at a macro level for the State to be aware of the overall condition of the housing stock (which is poor BER wise as we know). 

  • Registered Users Posts: 634 ✭✭✭cobham

    See article in property supplement of today's Irish Times. It seems the parameters might have changed from BER checks done years back.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,137 ✭✭✭DC999

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 17,892 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    The BER has always been a measurement at that moment in time and will not reflect current calculation approach, partly why it has a 10year life

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 1,137 ✭✭✭DC999

    Copy of the BER article here if people can't access it:

    Fergus Merriman

    Tue Nov 1 2022 - 05:30

    I wonder if you could share your thoughts on my recent experience of upgrading the insulation and heating in my apartment. My apartment was originally assessed and assigned a D2 BER rating in 2013.Since then, I have upgraded the radiators, changed the flooring and in the last few months had 92mm warm board installed to the external walls in the apartment. After spending approximately €10,000, the latest assessor has assigned a BER of D2 again.

    I am disappointed to say the least after the expense and upheaval of the dry-lining work in particular, and my effort to improve my energy rating, reduce heating bills and make a small difference to the environment.

    When hiring the insulation company, at no point was I informed that there was a possibility of the BER, or measurement of these improvements, not increasing. Is this usual?

    Building energy ratings or BERs were brought into law in Ireland following the energy performance of buildings directive’s introduction from the European Union in 2002 and were updated in 2010, writes Fergus Merriman.The primary aim of BER ratings primarily is to reduce the effects that buildings create on our external environment through heating and cooling, which amount to about 35 per cent of the human impacts on climate change. Of course, another objective was to provide a benchmark for improvement and to encourage individuals like yourself to improve the energy efficiency of your home while reducing carbon emissions.

    To assess any BER involves using Ireland’s specific methodology called “Domestic Energy Assessment Procedure” or “Deap” for short. This is a complicated programme that can only be completed by a trained assessor on the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland’s list.

    Deap has also been updated and we are now on version 4.2, which adjusts and corrects several historical anomalies that existed previously. Updates are necessary because as the methods to assess a building’s carbon footprint improve, so also does our understanding of the performance of a building’s various characteristics.

    Your good intentions to improve your situation are not just good for the environment but are good for your comfort and your pocket too. However, it’s probable that your early BER was assessed on the older version of Deap while the later BER is based on the current model and hence the lack of improvement on the rating despite your best efforts.

    Contractors installing fabric upgrades are best sourced from the SEAI’s list of approved persons who will usually inform you of the investment options for your home and the effects on your BER based on your existing BER report. This will steer them towards the most effective manner to approach proposed improvements. However, they are usually not able to make value decisions without having a current or “target” evaluation by an approved assessor using the up-to-date method.

    Apartments such as yours will usually have a relatively good “fabric” rating because a relatively high percentage of the external elements such as walls, floors and ceilings are often shared with other units with a lower or limited number of surfaces in direct contact with the outside environment. Therefore, improvements to the relatively small areas concerned no matter how good they might be, may not result in a substantive change for the better in your rating. In addition, the use of direct electrical heating and the inability to provide any form of renewable energy will drag the rating down even if radiators or heating methods are upgraded.

    Usually, the biggest BER penalty in apartments is loss of energy through a “leaky” fabric because air tightness has not been addressed at the time of build. This is mostly caused by poorly fitted or low-quality windows and doors, or gaps left into attic spaces or ducts. Sealing these up will help but the problem is then ensuring that air quality is maintained by adequately controlled ventilation, which is critical to good health.

    Installing an exhaust-air heat-pump ventilation heating system which further reduces energy losses while maintaining good air quality is now a very valid investment option. It will certainly improve your BER rating, save you money and improve your comfort and health. If the layout of your apartment permits it, it is well worth considering.

    Your latest BER report should list the measures that the assessor considers will have the biggest impact in helping you improve your BER rating above your new D2 assessment. That is a good place to start.

    Fergus Merriman is a chartered building surveyor and a member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI)

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭poker--addict

    I think it’s important not to get too hung up on the BER, because it’s largely theoretical. You could have the best rated windows and doors but poorly installed with air leaks all over the place and score a top score. Which I suspect is my case - having just gone from b2 to a3 thanks to panels and a few LEDs!

    The Cert will only ever matter if remortgaging or selling up.

    OP situation sounds wrong tbh, my house is 2007, and his sounds better spec ( I have chimneys and no HRV). I was B2, got panels and improved. No way should you sink to D in my ignorant opinion.

    If I had a bit more cash I’d have gotten a proper air test with BER, that seems to be the most true assessment of where ones heat might be going, and would be informative done a long side the theoretical but informative ber or heat loss assessment.

    This used to be a referral link 😎

  • Registered Users Posts: 189 ✭✭Curiousness99

    Agree 100%, BER is of limited use, blower or air test much better imo, or look at the heating bills over a year.

    im going to get cavity wall insulation done (if the guy ever turns up) and will probably replace my 2005 double glazed windows going from a u vale of probably 2.8 to 1.0 or so, won’t make much difference in the main living area unless I sort drafts coming from 2 problem downlighters (located in a mini roof jutting out over a feature window)may as well have a window open.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,137 ✭✭✭DC999

    I was changing lightbulbs in my folks house this week and the wind was whipping through the down lighters. And wasn't even that windy a day. It's an extension and has some roof insulation but it's not tight to the lights (as need some space for heat to escape I'm sure).

  • Registered Users Posts: 189 ✭✭Curiousness99

    We've lots of downlighters in the house, I'd strongly advise against them for airtightness purposes, particularly on the second story.

    Kind of crazy cutting insulation to fit a downlighter which still seems to happen