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Energy Conservation

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 4 November 2021

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Ceisteanna (26)

Niamh Smyth


26. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications if he plans to encourage business and private homes to apply for a BER certificate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53649/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Environment)

My Department and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) are promoting the wider use of, and benefits from, Building Energy Rating (BER) Certificates. Two key approaches helping to drive uptake of BER Certs are the enhancement of the product itself, and, making the BER cert an integral part of the process of building upgrades.

In July, the new BER Advisory Report was launched following several years of development involving my Department, the Department of Housing Local Government & Heritage and the SEAI. The Advisory Report is furnished to the home or building owner along with the BER Certificate. It now provides a personalised roadmap for homeowners on how to upgrade their home. It focuses not just on the present performance of the building but also on its potential for improved performance. It includes information on how to upgrade to a target of a B2 energy rating (or better) and identifies heat pumps as the preferred solution where appropriate.

Government has also committed unprecedented levels of investment in home energy upgrades as part of the National Development Plan Review. This commitment, coupled with the launch of new and enhanced SEAI grant schemes and expansion of the Local Authority Retrofit Programme will make the retrofit sector a year-round industry. The scaling up of retrofit activity coupled with the requirement for pre and post BER assessments in SEAI grant support programmes will also very significantly drive the uptake of BER certificates.

As part of SEAI’s Business Sector programmes the non-domestic BER is promoted as a critical tool for assessing baseline and post-works energy performance of buildings. It’s use is supported via energy audits and educational supports, and is an enabling step in many deeper energy upgrades, including the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat. As BER B is the target for many of these deeper energy upgrades the BER is utilised to demonstrate this requirement.

Further information on the BER Advisory Report and on wider measures to promote BER uptake will be set out in the National Retrofit Plan which will be published shortly.