Building Energy Rating (BER) was first introduced in Ireland in 2009 and is a certificate that rates your home’s energy efficiency on a scale of A-G, with A-rated homes deemed the most energy efficient.
Improving your BER will not only make your home more energy efficient, but it will also increase the value of the property and decrease your energy bills and carbon emissions. There are ways you can improve your BER rating. These include:
- Insulate your home: The better insulated your home is, the more likely it will have a higher BER rating. Although insulating your home can be costly, you could save money in the long run by reducing your heating bills. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) provide various insulation grants including grants for attic; internal and external walls; and cavity wall insulations.
- Renewable Energy: Have you ever considered switching to green energy? Having solar panels fitted to your home can be expensive but could save you money overall. The SEAI provide grants for people who want to use renewable energy, such as the solar electricity grant and the solar water heating grant.
- Boiler service: You should get your boiler serviced once a year as not only will it increase its lifespan, but it could also run more efficiently and therefore reduce your bills. If your boiler is serviced regularly it could also prevent water leaks in your home.
- Windows and doors: If you have old windows and doors that aren’t glazed well, you could find your home has lots of draughts. To limit the amount of warm air escaping, you could use a draught seal which is an easy and cheap way of sealing your windows. If you had the money to replace the windows with newer ones that would be ideal, and you’ll likely reap the benefits when it comes to your energy costs.
- Lightbulbs: It’s a good idea, if you haven’t done so already, to replace old lightbulbs with energy efficient LED bulbs. This will reduce your electricity bill and will cut down on your carbon footprint.
- Timers and temperatures: Use a timer for your heater and your lights so that the heating and lights only come on and stay on for a specified time. With most heating timers you can set certain zones in your house, so for example, you might only want to heat certain rooms that you are in at certain times. You can also set your thermostat a degree or two lower to reduce your energy consumption.
- Ventilation: Place a chimney balloon in your fireplace when it's not in use will ensure heat doesn’t escape up the chimney. You can also check your air vents in the house. They may need to be cleaned or replaced to ensure better airflow in your house.
- Lagging jacket: A lagging jacket on your hot water tank can keep your water warmer for long which could improve your BER rating while also saving you money on energy costs.