About Dooley Group BER
Dooley Group have been in existence since 2009 and are one of the leading providers of BER Certs and reports in the mid west region.
We are SEI registered and we provide independent energy rating and advice on improvements to maximise energy efficiency.
BER: What is it?
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 G the least efficient.
From the 2009 a BER certificate is compulsory for all homes being sold or rented. If you are buying or renting a new house or apartment now, you are entitled to a BER - so do ask the seller/landlord or their agent for it.
All new homes (even when not for sale) must have a BER certificate before they are occupied as detailed under S.I. 666.
BER assessments performed on new dwellings will also help determine compliance to Part L of the Building Regulations.
BERs will be carried out by specially trained BER assessors, registered by Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI). A list of BER Assessors is available on the SEI website.
It is an offence for persons not registered with SEI as BER assessors to purport to carry out a BER assessment service for the purposes of the Regulations.
Who needs a BER?
A seller must provide a BER to prospective buyers or tenants when a home is constructed, sold or rented under the following circumstances:
- New homes where planning permission was applied for on or after 2007:
- All homes for sale or rent on or after 2009.
All new homes (even when not for sale) must have a BER certificate before they are occupied as detailed under S.I. 666BER assessments performed on new dwellings will also help determine compliance to Part L of the Building Regulations.
How Long will a BER Remain Valid?
A BER for a building will be valid for 10 years from the date of its being issued, unless there is a material change in the building in the meantime which could affect its energy performance – for example an extension to the building, a significant change to the building fabric or a change in the heating system or fuel used. Therefore if a property which has received a BER is placed on the market within 10 years of that BER being issued, and the property has experienced no relevant alteration in the meantime, then that same BER may be used by the building owner for the purposes of meeting their obligations under the Regulations.
Heating & Insulation Tips
When buying heaters, make sure that they are the right size for the rooms they are to heat, and that they have thermostatic controls.
- Remember that electric heaters other than storage heaters consume electricity at the most expensive charge rate.
- Use a space or portable heater instead of the central heater, if only one room needs heating.
- Choose heaters with thermostat controls and timers.
- Turn off the heating overnight and when you are out during the day.
- Turn off the heating if you are going to be out of the house for more than a day.
- Proper control and regular maintenance of your heating system can reduce fuel consumption by 10-20%
- If you have gas heating, turn-off pilot lights during the warmer months.Heat bedroom areas to less than 18°C
- 20°C is an ideal room temperature. Turning down thermosats by 1oC can reduce annual space heating energy consumption by 10% with an equivalent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
- Open fires are wasteful of energy with more than 70% of the energy going up the chimney.
- If the radiator is mounted below a window, a projecting window-board or shelf above the radiator will direct warm air into the room, reducing heat loss through the window.
- Close doors to separate heated from unheated areas of your home, and minimise the area you are heating.
Hot Water Heating:
- Use the timer on immersion heaters. This should supply you with enough hot water as and when you need.
- Heating hot water account for 64% of energy consumption in the home: you should be thrifty in its use.
- 90% of the energy consumption of washing machines goes on heating the water. Wash clothes whenever possible in cold or cool water.
- Much of the heat loss from a house occurs through the windows particularly if they are single glazed. Keep curtains closed at night and ensure that the curtains don’t hang over the radiators.
- A reflective foil, backed by insulation if space permits should be fixed behind radiators mounted on external walls.
- A lagging jacket on your hot water cylinder will keep water hotter for longer and pay for itself in 2-3 months.
- If replacing the hot water cylinder, a cylinder with factory applied insulation should be considered. Such insulation is more effective at retaining heat than a lagging jacket, is less easily damaged and cannot be pulled out of place.
- Insulate your attic and save up to 20% on your home heating bill.
Renewable Energy Tips
- Combining solar collectors with a wood burning stove provides an ideal year-round renewable energy heating solution. A solar collector system can provide around 60% of your annual hot water needs for free (80 to 90% in summer)
- Simple Passive Solar Design techniques can make a big difference to energy consumption in the home. Just by facing a house south to capture the maximum daylight energy bills can be reduced by 30%.
- Transmission of light through windows (passive solar heating) can reduce heating costs - could you allow for passive solar heating in the design of a new home? What about integrating a solar water heating system onto a south facing roof?
- Adding an unheated conservatory or sunspace to the south face of your house increases passive solar gains and provides an insulating effect.
- Space and water heating account for over 70% of energy used in the home, so switching to clean, renewable energy (e.g. wood fuel, solar energy or heat pump systems) makes a big reduction in the environmental impact of your home.
- Wood is a renewable fuel you can use without producing the harmful greenhouse gas emissions of fossil fuels. Instead of coal or peat, throw on a log onto a fire. Whereas peat and coal take hundreds of thousands of years to form, wood is a renewable fuel that grows in just 3-70 years.
- Using renewable sources of energy like wood and solar energy to heat our homes reduces our reliance on polluting, imported fossil fuels like oil and coal.
- If you recycle glass and paper, you save on a great deal of energy, raw materials and pollution.
Alternative Heating Systems:
- Ground source heat pumps, which collect solar energy stored in the ground, are ideally suited to the Irish climate and can provide year round space and water heating for the fraction of the costs of a conventional system.
- A modern wood burning stove can achieve efficiencies of up to 80% compared to only 20-30% for a traditional open fire.