Do I need a  BER, Home Energy Assessment or Technical assessment?

We  are often asked what is the difference between a BER, a Home Energy Assessment or Heat Pump Technical assessment.

A Building Energy Rating, (BER)  is an indication of the current energy performance of a home. It covers energy use for space heating, water heating, ventilation and lighting calculated on the basis of standard occupancy. A BER is similar to the energy label for a household electrical appliance like your fridge. The label has a scale of A-G, A-rated homes are the most energy efficient and will have the lowest energy bills. All BERs come with a standard advisory report, with a list of recommended upgrades. This gives some good high level advice but no real detail on the upgrades, how much they might cost and what  amount of grants might be available.

A BER is required when an existing dwelling is sold or rented or when a new dwelling is built for sale or rent along. A BER is also required to apply for certain SEAI grants and to claim back the grant funding once upgrade works are completed. These are the main situations where a BER is required. If you are planning a home energy upgrade, a BER can give you some basic information on where you are now and what you can do, but a Home Energy Assessment is probably more appropriate in this case.

As well as an existing BER, a Home Energy Assessment, (HEA) also includes a detailed report on your home. This outlines your current priorities, options and steps for a home energy upgrade, outline specification of the upgrade works and the estimated savings in carbon, energy and fuel bills from completing the work. Details are also included on the various grants available, estimates of the costs of the work and advice on  next steps to complete the work.  The HEA gives you a pathway for your upgrade and ensures that whatever work is done now will not jeopardise the ability to complete further retrofit measures, cause unintended consequences as well as ensuring no opportunities are missed. Recommended if you are completing a whole house upgrade, even if this is done over a number of stages or years.  

A heat pump technical assessment, (TA) is required if you plan to install a heat pump and wish to apply for any of the  SEAI heat pump grants. Our HEA service includes the heat pump technical assessment, but we also offer a standalone TA assessment service. This is similar to the HEA, (it also includes an existing BER) but the TA report is a simplified version, focusing on the upgrades required to make the building well enough insulated for a heat pump to work effectively and excluding details on the grants, estimates of the cost of the work and the anticipated fuel bill savings. The TA service is most appropriate when you are planning to install a heat pump in a relatively modern (post 2000) property where minimal other upgrades are required or where you don’t need the full detail of the HEA.

Feel free to get in touch if you would like to discuss any of the above services.

Do I need a BER or home energy assessment