How to Improve BER Rating in Ireland?
By The Headlines, January 13, 2023 | 09:01 PM
With the increasing energy prices worldwide, your home’s BER (Building Energy Rating) score may play an important role in your monthly expenditure. If you want your home to be warmer and use less energy, improving BER score will provide a number of benefits.
A higher BER score ensures you save more money on heating bills, but it also increases the value of your home in the property market.
What is the BER Rating? What does BER Rating mean?
A Building Energy Rating (BER) certificate is a new way of measuring the energy performance of homes. A similar label for appliances was introduced recently which provides consumers with the information they need to make more informed decisions. The certificate rates homes on a scale of A-G.
Homes with A-rated ratings save more energy, which is great for their owners and also beneficial to the environment. Choosing a home that is G-rated could cost you more money in heating and cause harm to the environment. It is advisable to improve your BER score as much as possible to be A-rated.
How long is the validity of a BER certificate?
BER certificate is usually valid for up to 10 years, given that there are no material changes to a home. A provisional BER cert, which is usually derived from a plan of the unbuilt home, has a maximum validity of 2 years.
How is the BER score calculated?
The BER score is calculated using bespoke software called DEAP (Dwelling Energy Assessment Procedure). The BER Energy rating will provide you with a score on where your home ranks for energy efficiency.
How to improve the BER rating?
1. Insulate your home
On average, homes lose 20-30% of their heat through walls which is the most significant place where heat loss can happen. This can be even worse if not insulated correctly. Insulating your attic correctly will help you save on energy bills as well as reduce your heating usage.
These improvements are capable of being made to the attic, walls and floor. They will also help you to reduce your carbon footprint while making your home more livable inside.
2. Install a Heat Pump
A heat pump is a device that adjusts your home's temperature to whatever levels you want. It handles your home’s cooling and heating needs. This device will also help you to save energy and reduce your carbon footprint.
In the summer, the heat pump sucks in outside air, processing it to provide you with a cool interior environment. In the winter, its mechanism reverses and it extracts your energy from inside your home so that you don't freeze. It transfers the heat generated by its operations to help create a comfortable climate indoors year-round.
Heating controls can help reduce your heating bills by up to 20%. They can also help improve the energy efficiency of your home so that you have less wasted energy and lower utility costs.
Image by tonodiaz on Freepik
3. Upgrade your windows and doors
Most older windows cannot hold heat, so your next upgrade should be the windows in your house. While this might cost you slightly, but it's worth it in the long run.
It's possible to install window shades that insulate against cold and heat waves. Additionally, reflections can be applied to windows that face a particular direction to save energy and improve the BER score.
Image by Freepik
4. Switch to energy-saving light bulbs
Using low-energy Smart LED bulbs like Hive Active Light bulbs is one easy way to improve your home's BER rating. These LED light bulbs save on energy and are much easier to keep a good eye on.
5. Invest in renewable energy
It is important to consider cleaner and more efficient solutions for our most heavily-used products. Solar power is incredibly popular, which means its efficiency doesn't result in any harmful emissions.
One of the benefits of solar panels is that they automatically save you money by reducing your energy spending. They also help to improve your BER rating, so investing in a solar panel can be a solution for both quality and health.
6. Check Your Ventilation
Reduce draughts, when possible, and install a chimney balloon in your fireplace. Older vents may need replacing to encourage better airflow.
7. Get A Lagging Jacket
A thick jacket around your hot water cylinder will keep it warmer than before and improve an HVAC system's efficiency. This can also help you save money. You can purchase one here.
For more information check Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI) on improving your home's BER rating. SEAI also offer a number of grants to help make your home more sustainable and energy efficient.