Originally Publish February 2009
A Building Energy Rating Certificate ("a BER") shows
the energy performance, C02 emission and approximate
running cost of a building. It is similar to the energy rating
found on new electrical items such as fridges, microwaves, cookers
etc. The rating is expressed in performance categories ranging from
'A' (most efficient) to 'G' (least efficient).
A BER is a requirement of the EU Energy Performance of Buildings
Directive (2002/91/EC of 16 December 2002) which was transposed
into Ireland by the EC (Energy Performance of Buildings)
Regulations 2006 (SI No 666 of 2006) ("the Regulations").
Sustainable Energy Ireland ("SEI") have responsibility
under the Regulations for the implementation of the practical
aspects of the BERs including the registration of BER Assessors,
maintaining a register of assessments and collecting registration
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR FURNISHING A BER?
A BER and the accompanying Advisory Report must be furnished to
any person expressing an interest in purchasing or leasing a
building by "a person who offers for sale or letting... a
building" and the obligation extends to "any agent acting
on behalf of such person...". The vendor/landlord of a
property which is offered for sale or lease is the person
responsible for furnishing a BER. However, where the
vendor/landlord fail to furnish a BER where required, the
obligation will extend to the "agent" of the
vendor/landlord to ensure that a BER has been furnished.
An "agent" in this context would appear to include an
estate agent or solicitor acting in a property transaction. The
Conveyancing Committee of the Law Society of Ireland have advised
solicitors that if a client has not obtained a BER by the time a
solicitor is instructed in a sale/lease, then such client will have
to be told by his solicitor that contract/lease documentation
cannot be sent out until such time as a BER is obtained.
WHEN SHOULD A BER BE FURNISHED?
BER requirements were introduced on a phased basis since 2007.
Since 1 January 2009, a BER is now required when any
building is being offered for sale or rent, save for
certain exempted buildings such as national monuments and protected
structures, full details of which are listed in the
A BER must be furnished to a potential purchaser/tenant at the
time that a property is offered for sale or rent and therefore
before the Contract for Sale or Agreement for Lease/Lease is
executed and exchanged...