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Veracity of Building Energy Rating

  • 02-02-2023 7:51pm
    Registered Users Posts: 374 ✭✭

    Hi all,

    I am seeing lots of conflicting information on this online.

    How much stock would one place in these ratings?

    Say for instance would a place with E1 be absolutely terrible?

    Is it possible to get grants etc to upgrade the rating?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,102 ✭✭✭Citizen  Six

    E1 is terrible. There are grants. You need to do a lot of research.

  • Registered Users Posts: 374 ✭✭Mazzy Star

    Super thank you.

    I don't see many 2nd hand houses where I am looking with a rating of over C.

    Would there be a huge difference between C and E?

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,393 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    More info here

    There's a sample BER rating form which is worth looking at. The number at the left side of each band is the estimated energy consumption of the house in kWh/m2/year

    You can use this to give a very rough indication of your energy usage by multiplying the BER value by the area of the house in m2.

    For some reason a lot of Irish estate agents are obsessed with square feet so remember to convert the area if it's in that unit

    Now a word of warning, the BER is only an estimation of energy usage for comparing homes. It does not really indicate actual performance and there are a range of factors which will affect this

    It's similar to fuel efficiency on a car, a manufacturer may say a car gets 60mpg in a test rig but in real life you might not achieve that. However you know that a 60mpg car is probably going to be a lot more efficient than a car that got 40mpg at the same test

    Taking your example of an E1 rating house, this will likely cost twice as much to heat as a C1 house based on the BER

    In terms of accuracy, there is some debate around it. The assessment is largely based on the construction materials and standards when the house was built. They don't do any actual heat loss testing, however I think they do air tightness rating. This makes the test quite simple and non invasive but it does make the assumption that the building was constructed the way it's supposed to be

    This can be a bit of a dubious assumption

    Having said that, I'm in an A2 rated house and I found the house performed pretty close to the BER value

    The SEAI page also has information on grants available to retrofit a home to improve the BER value

    Be aware however, if you're looking at an E1 house or lower then you're probably in the area of a deep retrofit. This is a significant amount of work and associated costs, even after the grants.

    It would probably be a good idea to get an idea of how much this will cost you before getting into the process of buying a house

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 24 igord

    It really depends on the house itself and when was the BER issued. Pre 2018 BER might not be at all indicative of a high-performing house. Our estate had the planning permission in 2018 and even though the house was built 2021 and we moved in Sep 2022 the A2 BER is practically worthless. 4X20cm hole in the wall for ventilation, gas heating, no heat recovery and the house is performing C3 at best.