Building Energy Rating

Author:Mr Patrick Sweetman
Profession:Matheson Ormsby Prentice

Originally Publish February 2009INTRODUCTIONA Building Energy Rating Certificate ("a BER") showsthe energy performance, C02 emission and approximaterunning cost of a building. It is similar to the energy ratingfound on new electrical items such as fridges, microwaves, cookersetc. 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 BuildingsDirective (2002/91/EC of 16 December 2002) which was transposedinto Ireland by the EC (Energy Performance of Buildings)Regulations 2006 (SI No 666 of 2006) ("the Regulations").Sustainable Energy Ireland ("SEI") have responsibilityunder the Regulations for the implementation of the practicalaspects of the BERs including the registration of BER Assessors,maintaining a register of assessments and collecting registrationfees.WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR FURNISHING A BER?A BER and the accompanying Advisory Report must be furnished toany person expressing an interest in purchasing or leasing abuilding by "a person who offers for sale or letting... abuilding" and the obligation extends to "any agent actingon behalf of such person...". The vendor/landlord of aproperty which is offered for sale or lease is the personresponsible for furnishing a BER. However, where thevendor/landlord fail to furnish a BER where required, theobligation will extend to the "agent" of thevendor/landlord to ensure that a BER has been furnished.An "agent" in this context would appear to include anestate agent or solicitor acting in a property transaction. TheConveyancing Committee of the Law Society of Ireland have advisedsolicitors that if a client has not obtained a BER by the time asolicitor is instructed in a sale/lease, then such client will haveto be told by his solicitor that contract/lease documentationcannot 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 anybuilding is being offered for sale or rent, save forcertain exempted buildings such as national monuments and protectedstructures, full details of which are listed in theRegulations.A BER must be furnished to a potential purchaser/tenant at thetime that a property is offered for sale or rent and thereforebefore the Contract for Sale or Agreement for Lease/Lease isexecuted and exchanged. According to the Law Society, failure toproduce a BER before...

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