Half of Irish homes have an energy ‘D’ rating or lower

Published by David Hayden on

November 16th 2016

Half of Irish homes have a ‘D’ energy rating and changing that will be a “major challenge”, the EPA have revealed.

According to the State of the Environment report made available by the EPA, 50% of Ireland’s housing stock has a D-rating on the Building Energy Rating (BER) scale.

Retrofitting Irish homes will be a “major and immediate challenge”. However, according to Niall Sargent at the Irish Times, resources allocated will only allow for improvements to be made in approximately one third of the homes and buildings in need of retrofitting. As a result of this shortfall Ireland may struggle to meet its EU targets for 2020.

A Building Energy Rating (BER) Certificate is an indication of the energy performance of a home. BER is the calculated energy use for space and hot water heating, ventilation and lighting based on 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 tend to have the lowest energy bills.

To download a guide to the Building Energy Rating for homeowners from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland click here:

[x_button shape=”square” size=”large” float=”none” href=”https://www.google.ie/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjnu6v836rQAhWsD8AKHS7hBWUQFggjMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.seai.ie%2FYour_Building%2FBER%2FYour_Guide_to_Building_Energy_Rating.pdf&usg=AFQjCNEMjWb8XWjGnfY9TQFnqaKbpo-EkQ” title=”A Guide to Building Energy Rating for Homeowners” target=”blank” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]A Guide to Building Energy Rating for Homeowners[/x_button]

Poor BER ratings translate into cold, uncomfortable housing, higher CO2 emissions and higher energy costs. Moreover, data from the European Environment Agency also shows that daily household energy use in Ireland is the second-highest in Europe at just under 50kWh daily. While the report does show that household energy use decreased overall between 2010 and 2014 we are still lagging behind our European neighbors.

The report indicates that improvements in the housing sector since the year 2000 are the result of improved building regulations which have come into effect over the past decade. It’s unfortunate, to say the very least, that the positive impact of improved building regulations is not being adequately buttressed by retrofitting the older stock of housing which, as you can see in the table below has a glut of ‘G’ rated homes with extremely poor energy ratings.

[x_image type=”rounded” float=”none” src=”https://greennews.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/BER.jpg” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]

The Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government spent €85 million between 2013 and 2015 to retrofit 46,000 local authority homes. Presumably, many of these homes would be in the glut of ‘G’ rated buildings seen in the graph, however in order to resolve the spike in the very poorly rated homes the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland indicates that each year Ireland needs to retrofit 75,000 buildings.

Perhaps it’s time for Irish voters to realize that when it comes to household energy the environmental lobby has their best interests at heart. Let’s Stop Climate Chaos now and push for cosy and energy efficient homes!

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David Hayden

David is a contributor to the Green News. He has a Bachelor's Degree in International Business and French from UCD as well as a Master's Degrees in French literature and New Media from the University of California at San Diego and the Johns Hopkins University.