BER Certs – Not such a Waste?

BER Certs

Since the obligation for property sellers and their agents to have Building Energy Rating Certificates was applied to Irish Law, I  have wondered about the value of them.

Sure, they have provided a whole new “cottage industry” where many people did a short course to become qualified to carry out inspections and provide  the Certs.

But I have always felt there was almost a resentment on the part of property owners to having to incur yet another tax, for no apparent benefit. It was always assumed  that the buyer really did’nt care about how energy-efficient the place was.  As long as he/ his partner/ family  liked it and they could afford it , generally they bought it anyway.

Now , we learn, from our own Central Statistics Office no less, that in fact BER Certs have become a factor in the assessment of a property by prospective bidders.

The Irish Times carried this story on Oct 30th 2014 last…..

Developers and those building privately are becoming more conscious about the energy ratings in homes, according to a new CSO study.

The report on Building Energy Ratings (BERs) found that 29 per cent of all homes built here between 2010 and 2014 have an A Energy Rating with a further 64 per cent posting a B rating.

In contrast just 1 per cent of dwellings built between 2005 and 2009 had an A rating, with just 38 per cent having a B rating. Compare this with the period 2000-2004, when 0 per cent of homes had achieved an A rating.

Since January 2013 all properties sold or rented in Ireland are required to display the BER when advertised. According to Pat Mullery a senior negotiator with DNG, buyers are becoming increasingly conscious about the energy rating of houses when making their buying decisions.

“It does have an impact on sales,” he said.

“People are definitely conscious about BERs and would have an interest in them.

“I sold one A rated house recently to an elderly man and he was able to rattle off all the A rated properties that were on the market in the area, so it was clearly important to him.

“Even in second-hand properties, people are conscious about the ratings and if there are low ratings they look to improve them. Builders are also trying to get as high a rating as possible too,” he said.

The CSO found that 515,732 dwellings nationally had a BER audit conducted between January 2009 and September 2014.

Mid-floor apartments were found to have the highest BERs with 30 per cent awarded an A or B rating. In contrast, only 11 per cent of detached houses received an A or B following the energy audit.

So, as the Auctioneer must have the BER Cert before he advertises the premises, ask for a copy of the Cert. and the Report before you bid. Running costs are relevant!

By Neil Butler