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Our Services

Building Energy Rating (BER)

What Is A Building Energy Rating (BER)?

The standardised way of rating the energy efficiency of properties in Ireland is with a Building Energy Rating (BER). A qualified BER assessor carries out a survey on the property and then issues a BER Certificate with the rating from the energy efficiency scale ranging from A to G with A1 being the most energy efficient rating and G being the least energy efficient rating. If you are selling or letting a property in Ireland, a BER is mandatory.

With a BER certificate you can judge the potential costs of running a property, making comparison with other properties easy. However, even if you are not selling or letting, a BER energy audit can still prove beneficial as every BER certificate is accompanied by an Advisory Report which details the ways in which you can improve the energy efficiency of your property, ultimately saving you money.

BER Surveys

Leinster Property Assessors provides a professional high quality Building Energy Rating service. These BER surveys are carried out as quickly as possible, minimising the disruption to you in your home and are undertaken at a time convenient to you.

The certificate is valid for 10 years. If you are unsure of your property's details please contact us and we will provide you with a prompt quote. We provide discounts for multiple units, bundle deals and larger undertakings. There is a maximum fine of up to €5,000 for not having a BER cert when required.

Advisory Report

Once the BER survey has been carried out, the findings will be entered into BER Assessment Software. Once this is complete, the report will be uploaded into the SEAI National Administration System. This will then generate your BER Certificate and Advisory Report.

You will receive a copy of both and we can then run through any queries you may have. The SEAI maintain the register of BER certificates. If you would like to see your BER on the national register you can view it here: https://ndber.seai.ie/pass/ber/search.aspx

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a BER Assessment consist of?

There are 3 stages to a BER Assessment:

  • An on-site survey of the property which takes between 1 to 2 hours depending on its size, its layout and the complexity of its structure (extensions, attic conversions etc.), its space heating and its water heating systems
  • Calculations, additional research and input into the DEAP (Dwelling Energy Assessment Procedure) database
  • Issue of the BER Certificate and an advisory report
  • When is a BER assessment required?

    A valid BER Cert is compulsory for all homes being offered for sale or rent and must be included in any associated advertising. A BER assessment is also required before a new home is occupied for the first time.

    BER certification is also required when applying for a Better Energy Homes - Home Owner Grant from the SEAI. These grants are available for homeowners wishing to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Please see the SEAI's website for details.

    BER Certs are valid for 10 years provided that no changes that could affect the building's energy rating are made - i.e. no changes to the external fabric or space/water heating systems. For example if a property has been extended a BER Cert for an assessment carried out before the extension is invalid.

    How much does a BER cost?

    Please contact us for a free quotation.

    How can a Homeowner prepare for the BER assessment?

    There are a number of items that would be helpful to the Assessor if the homeowner were able to provide the following:

  • A recent electricity bill so that the Assessor can note the Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN)
  • A recent electricity bill so that the Assessor can note the Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN)
  • Date of construction of the dwelling
  • Details of any previously published BER for the dwelling on the national register
  • Any plans or specifications of the dwelling if they are available
  • Details of any upgrades that have been made to the dwelling e.g. insulation
  • The boiler model number or any documentation for the boiler
  • Making sure the Assessor has safe and unobstructed access to all areas of the dwelling
  • What Can Be Done to Improve a BER?

  • Energy efficient light bulbs can reduce the consumption of electricity by up to 80%, helping to improve your BER. So replace all incandescent and halogen light bulbs with CFL and LED low energy bulbs.
  • Use draught excluder tape to seal all windows, doors and letterboxes.
  • Install a lagging jacket to your copper hot water cylinder.
  • When not in use, block up chimneys with chimney balloons.
  • We all love an open fire, however, open fires operate at an efficiency of 30%. If you have an open fire with a back boiler you can install a stove door to turn the existing fireplace into a stove with a back boiler which will increase its efficiency up to 65%. Likewise, a wood burning stove achieves efficiencies of up to 65%.
  • If possible, single glazing or old air filled double glazing should be replaced with new energy efficient argon filled double glazed units. Costs of upgrading your windows in this manner can be reduced by up to 50% by keeping your existing frames. This will improve heat retention by up to 400%.
  • Old wall vents should be replaced with new disc vents that create an airtight seal when not in use.
  • Install thermostatic radiator values so that radiator temperature can be regulated on a room to room basis.
  • Solar Panels can reduce water related heating costs by up to 70% annually. Upgrade your wall insulation.
  • Upgrade your central heating controls. By installing a digital 7 day 3 zone time and temperature control system to your existing boiler you can save up to €500 a year on fuel bills.
  • An oil or gas boiler that is more than 10 years old is most likely operating at 79% of its maximum efficiency. Up to 97% efficiencies can be achieved by replacing your old boiler with a condensing oil boiler.
  • Top up the level of insulation in your attic to at least 300mm. It is also important to lag your cold water storage tank and pipes to prevent frost damage.
  • Percolations

    Site suitability assessment for onsite waste water treatment systems (Percolations)

    A site suitability assessment is used to determine if a septic tank or wastewater treatment system is suitable for the proposed development. If the site is suitable the assessment is use to design the type and size of percolation area / polishing filter. Currently Local Authorities planning conditions required that the site suitability assessment be carried out in accordance with the EPA 2009 Code of Practice guidelines.

    Leinster Property Assessors offer Site Suitability Assessments (Percolation Tests) to EPA code of practice 2009 standard for planning applications and upgrades of existing wastewater treatment systems.

    We also offer system inspections to people concerned about the new EPA Wastewater Treatment registration and standards required of your system.

    Our Engineers are all covered by Full Professional Indemnity Insurance and have completed the EPA/FAS "Site Suitability On-Site Wastewater" course.

    Soakway Test to BRE Digest 365 Standards

    A BRE Digest 365 test is carried out to determine the volume required for a rainwater or stormwater soakaway. In Ireland now, a lot of the County Councils require a BRE Digest 365 test to be carried and submitted with your planning application.

    In recent years, soakaways have been used within urban, fully-sewered areas to limit the impact on discharge of new upstream building works and to avoid costs of sewer upgrading outside a development. Soakaways are seen increasingly as a more widely applicable option alongside other means of stormwater control and disposal. Soakaways must store the immediate stormwater run-off and allow for its efficient infiltration into the adjacent soil. They must discharge their stored water sufficiently quickly to provide the necessary capacity to receive run-off from a subsequent storm.

    The time taken for discharge depends upon the soakaway shape and size, and the surrounding soil’s infiltration characteristics. They can be constructed in many different forms and from a range of materials.

    What is a Percolation Test / Site Suitability Assessment?

    A Percolation Test or a Site Suitability Assessment is a method of measuring how well your site can drain water away through the subsoil. It is usually required to give an indication to the Planning Department of your Local Council of how suitable the site in question will be to discharge the effluents from a dwelling to the soils. This is the first step you need to take in order to determine if the site is suitable for any type of discharge to ground soils and what type of systems are available to choose from.

    What does a Percolation Test / Site Suitability Assessment involve?

    Percolation Tests fundamentally involve various small excavations made at different points around the site. These small holes are then filled with water and left overnight. The next day the hole will be refilled and the rate of fall is timed in seconds. This is done several times and an average is taken. A report is then prepared by our engineers which can be used, for example, to show the suitability of a private septic tank and percolation area on a site.

    The infiltration rate or percolation rate is then put together in a report format with a number of other maps of the area and drawings of the proposed system. The whole process normally takes 5-7 working days. This report is then lodged with a planning application normally for a dwelling or extension for approval to the County Council.

    Government Grants

    The Better Energy Home scheme provides grants to homeowners to upgrade their homes with energy efficiency measures, thus reducing energy use, costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Grants are provided for the following upgrade works done to any home built before 2006:

    • Roof insulation
    • Wall insulation
    • Boiler and heating control upgrades
    • Solar panels

    This government scheme gives fixed cash grants and is available to all owners of homes built before 2006. The grants enable homeowners improve the energy efficiency of their home through insulation and heating system upgrades. For more information on grants you can find this on the links below: http://www.seai.ie/Grants/Warmer_Homes_Scheme/

    Grants Available

    • Attic (€300)
    • Cavity Wall (€300)
    • Internal Wall - Dry Lining Apartment (any) or Mid-terrace House (€1,200), Semi-detached OR End of Terrace (€1,800), Detached House (€2,400)
    • External Wall - Apartment (any) OR Mid-terrace House (€2,250), Semi-detached OR End of Terrace (€3,400), Detached House (€4,500)
    • Heating - Heating Controls with Boiler (Oil or Gas) Upgrade (€700), Heating Controls Upgrade only (€600), Solar Heating (€1,200)
    • Bonus - Additional Bonus for 3rd measure (€300), Additional Bonus for 4th measure (€100)
    • BER - BER Assessment on completion of works (€50)

    Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme

    The aim of this scheme is to fund energy efficiency improvements in the homes of the elderly and vulnerable which in turn makes living conditions more comfortable, healthier and more cost effective to run. These improvements are undertaken at no cost to the homeowner.

    The upgrades available are:

    • Attic Insulation
    • Cavity Wall Insulation
    • Lagging Jackets
    • Draught Proofing
    • Low energy light bulbs
    • Energy Advice

    This scheme is available to homes that are owner occupied non local authority homes that were built before 2006.

    The owner must also be in receipt of one of the following:

    • Fuel Allowance as part of the National Fuel Scheme
    • Job Seekers Allowance for over six months and with children under 7 years of age
    • Family Income Supplement