Since 2009, it is a legal requirement that any property offered for sale or to let in Ireland has a Building Energy Rating (BER) certificate.
The certificate rates the energy performance or efficiency of a building from A to G with A being the most efficient and G being the least. Some buildings do not require a BER such as protected structures for example but for most people renting or selling a property, a BER is required. If renting a property, the BER can be reused for multiple tenancies and a BER rating is usually valid for ten years once no major alternations are made to the property.
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) monitors BERs issued every quarter and it is interesting to note the increase in BER ratings in buildings constructed more recently. During Q 3 2018 for example, for houses constructed between 2015 – 2018, a massive 96% received an A rating, a reflection of the increase in building regulations and standards surrounding energy efficiency. In comparison, for properties built between 2010 – 2014, just 36% achieved an A rating during Q3 2018.
Delving further back, for properties built between 2000-2004, 0% achieved an A rating in Q3 2018 with the bulk (60%) receiving a C rating.
Methods of heating are also changing. Mains gas was used in 57% of houses constructed during 2015 to 2018 which had a BER completed compared to 40% in the period 2000-2004.
Electricity has also seen an increase from 19% in 2000 -2004, to 36% in 2015-2018, a reflection perhaps of the increase in apartment building witnessed in the country.
Oil in contrast as a source of heating has decreased from 36% in 2000-2004 to 6% for dwellings built in 2015-2018.