Top Tips For Achieving An 'A' Rated BER Certificate

What happens if you get a poor rating? There is no legal penalty for getting a bad label for an existing house. From the perspective of a seller or landlord, the effect of such a label can be expected to be a degree of market disadvan­tage in a competitive property market. From the perspective of a householder, it creates an aware­ness of the ongoing running costs, comfort level and environmental impact associated with en­ergy use in the property. There are a number of simple measures that should achieve a good energy rating. Any combination of a number of the measures out lined below should achieve a high B rating. However, to achieve an A BER, almost all of these must be incorporated into the design.

  • Increase insulation in the walls/attic/ floors
  • Install an airtight membrane covering the complete fabric of the house
  • Install advanced energy efficient win­dows/doors with triple glazing.
  • Include measures to achieve controlled, healthy ventilation (Heat Recovery Ven­tilation)
  • Install highly efficient condensing boilers (Under the Building Regulations, from 31 March 2008 all oil and gas fired boilers installed as replacements in existing dwellings must meet a minimum seasonal efficiency of 86 percent, where practica­ble. These boilers are frequently referred to as condensing boilers because of their operation)
  • Insulate the hot water cylinder and all pipe work
  • Install modern heating controls (zoned thermostat controls)
  • Install certain types of renewable energy heating systems (Solar, biomass, geothermal)
  • Specify 100 percent CFL bulbs in your design. When there is 100 per cent CFL bulbs specified, there should be a IO kWh/m2/yr change in figures when cal­culating the BER. This could potentially improve your rating. These bulbs cost from €5-€8 each and can also save you up to €250 per year on electricity.
  • Maximize passive solar design. Passive solar orientated houses are designed to let heat into the building during the winter months and block out the sun during hot summer days. This can be achieved using deciduous trees or bushes to the south of the buildings.