Property Improvement: BER Certificates
The EU Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings (EPBD) recently passed into law in Ireland. It lists a new set of provisions aimed at improving energy performance of residential and non-residential property, both existing buildings as well as new or proposed structures. Property owners are now obliged to provide a Building Energy Rating (BER) certificate, which is basically an energy performance label. They will be required at the point of sale or rental of a building, or on completion of a new building. A BER is similar to the energy label for a household electrical appliance.
The label has a scale from A to G. A-rated homes are the most energy efficient and G the least efficient. The information contained in the BER certificate allows consumers to check the energy performance of a building and enables them to take this into consideration in any decisions on property transactions.
The Directive is designed to ensure that building standards across Europe comply with the goal of minimizing energy consumption. This Directive affects consumers all across Europe and attempts to reduce energy consumption, whilst not requiring huge additional expenditure at the consumer and business level.
The EPBD has several Europe wide goals:
To produce a common methodology for deriving the energy performance of a building, taking account of local climatic conditions.
To standardize minimum criteria for energy performance, applied both to new buildings and to major refurbishments of existing large buildings. As far as possible, these standards will comply with existing or planned European norms.
To highlight the importance of minimizing energy consumption, making energy consumption levels much more visible to property owners, tenants and users.
To provide for the regular inspection of boilers and air conditioning systems above minimum sizes in order to verify their energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions.
European households account for two thirds of the energy used in European buildings and these households are steadily consuming more and more energy as rising living standards are reflected in greater use of air conditioning and heating systems.
10 million home heating gas and oil fired boilers in European homes are more than 20 years old. Replacing these older, less efficient appliances has been calculated to save up to 5 percent of the energy presently used for heating.
30-50 percent of lighting energy could be saved in European offices, commercial buildings and leisure facilities by using the latest, most efficient systems and technologies.
Half of the projected increase in energy needed for air conditioning -- expected to double by 2020 -- could be saved through higher energy standards for equipment.; their consumption is growing every year as rising living standards are reflected in greater use of air conditioning and heating systems.
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