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Jan 01 2009
By law any property offered for sale or rent must now have a BER certificate. That means you should not even put it on t...
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Dec 01 2008
We provide the complete ONE STOP SHOP for all your energy performance certification needs. Call the professionals now. ...
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1.      What are the responsibilities of a BER Assessor?
The responsibilities of a BER Assessor are set out in the BER Assessor’s Code of Conduct on the BER Assessor’s area of SEI’s web site www.sei.ie/ber. It is expected that the demand for BERs for new dwellings will increase gradually over 2007 and into 2008. The demand for BERs is expected to increase considerably from January 2009 onwards as new non-residential and existing buildings are phased in.

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2.      Are BER Assessors required to have professional indemnity insurance?
SEI do not specifically require registered BER assessors to have professional indemnity insurance, however Gilroy Energy Services have in place such a policy.


3.      BER Assessors are required to carry out BER assessments in an independent manner. Can an Assessor rate dwellings belonging to themselves, their family, friends or employer?
Gilroy Energy Services carries out all BER Assessments in an Independent and Professional manner. The legal requi rement to act in an independent manner is an obligation of the BER assessor. BER assessors should not carry out any BER assessments if they believe that they are unable to do so in an independent manner.
In reaching this decision a BER assessor should consider all relevant factors including, inter alia:

  • his or her relationship to the owner of the dwelling;
  • his or her relationship to the various professionals who have an interest in the development or marketing of the dwelling
  • whether any such relationship might compromise or be interpreted by a third party as compromising his or her ability to act in an independent manner.

SEI has two requirements in regard to the independence of BER Assessors.

First, BER Assessors are obligated to declare to SEI any relationship, notably employment or family relationships, with the owner(s) and/or parties having an involvement in the development or marketing of dwellings that they may be rating. It is a matter for the BER assessor to adhere to this guideline and to decide what relationships should be notified to SEI. Clearly, a BER assessor should declare a relationship if he/she plans to do BER Assessments for his or her employer or a very close personal friend.

Second, BER Assessors are required by legislation to act in an independent manner and are precluded, therefore, from carrying out any BER Assessment on a dwelling owned by them or by an immediate family member and in any other circumstances in which they have a material financial interest in the outcome of the assessment(s) other than the fee charged for providing the rating. In this context, immediate family members are parents, siblings, spouse and children.


4.      The BER rating for new dwellings is primarily a “desk exercise”. What is the BER assessor’s responsibility to verif y that the dwelling has been built as designed or specified?
BER assessors are recommended to sign a standard contract with their clients stating that the rating is carried out in an independent manner based upon drawings, and other data supplied by the client and that the responsibility for the veracity of this documentation rests with the client. If, however, the BER assessor has any reason to doubt that these specifications describe the actual dwelling he or she should take reasonable steps to ensure that appropriate amendments are made to the documentation.


5.      Should Records be maintained for the life of the BER certificate (10 years)?
The BER Assessor is required to maintain such records as would be required to defend his or her BER Assessments. Gilroy Energy Services will keep the documentation used for the assessment for the full term of validity of the BER Assessment.


6.      Can a BER Assessor for new dwellings submit BER assessments for existing dwellings or non-residential buildings?
No. If you register as BER Assessor for new dwellings, you are only authorised to operate as an assessor for that classes of building. Gilroy Energy Services employs Assessors registered for existing dwellings and non-residential buildings as required.


7.      How will the BER of Existing Dwellings be carried out?
A BER of an existing dwelling being offered for sale or letting on or after 1 January 2009 must be carried out by a BER assessor, at the expense of the vendor or landlord - who must provide the resulting BER certificate and advisory report to prospective buyers/tenants.

The BER assessor must visit the property and survey the dwelling to record , for example, the size of the dwelling, the construction, the insulation levels, the types of windows, the ventilation features, details of the heating and hot water systems, etc. This information will then be used to calculate the energy performance of the dwelling and to give it an energy rating.

Gilroy Energy Services assessors will follow a standardised procedure using an approved survey and calculation methodology to arrive at a rating.


8.      How do you carry out a BER for a new dwelling?
Gilroy Energy Services carries out new house assessments from the house plan/drawings and specification sheet. Using the improved DEAP 3 Software Issued by SEI.


9.      How long would it take to issue the BER Certificate for a dwelling?
Gilroy Energy Services will depending on the complexity of the building aim to complete all assessments within 5 working days of receiving all the required information from the client. We also offer an express 2 day service for those who need their BER Certificate in a hurry.


10.      How much does a BER assessment cost?
Prices vary depending on the complexity of the building and although we base our pricing policy on level of service our prices are very competitive with others in the market place. As our pricing policy is commercially sensitive we do not list our prices here. Please call 087 9386694 for a quotation or email us at ber@gilroyenergy.ie


11.      In what way will the requirement to provide BER certificates be introduced?
The requirement to provide a BER certificate for a building is being introduced in the following stages:

    From 1 January 2007, a Building Energy Rating (BER) certificate will be required by law for new dwellings, for which planning permission has been applied for on or after this date, when they are offered for sale or rent.
  • From July 2008, a Building Energy Rating (BER) certificate will be required by law for all new non-residential buildings for which planning permission is being applied for.
  • From 1 January 2009, a Building Energy Rating (BER) certificate will be required by law for all existing buildings, when they are offered for sale or rent.      


12.      What Qualifications do BER Assessors have?
The minimum prequalification requirement set in the Specification for Assessor Training Programmes for Building Energy Rating (BER) of New Dwellings is a National Certificate Level 6 Advanced Certificate/Higher Certificate in construction studies or ot her cognate discipline or equivalent. Equivalence may be determined as a combination of an appropriate construction-related qualification and significant relevant experience

Upon successful completion of an approved BER Course a level 6 FETAC certificate is awarded which enables the Assessor to register with SEI as an approved BER Assessor. All BER Associates and Assessors employed by Gilroy Energy Services meet or exceed these requirements.


13.      What Will Happen if I Fail to Obtain a BER for My Dwelling as Required by Law?
If you fail to comply with a BER requirement you will be liable, on conviction in the District Court, to a maximum fine of €5,000. Failure to secure a BER certificate at the proper time could hinder or delay the legal completion of a sale or letting or a future disposal of the relevant dwelling.


14.      When Does the Obligation to Produce a BER Arise?
1) 1st January 2007: Newly constructed dwelling for which planning permission was applied for on or after 1.1.2007.
When the new dwelling is offered for sale “off plans”: a provisional BER certificate must be produced by the vendor to potential buyers or tenants, based on the pre- construction plans; and when the same new dwelling is completed, a BER certificate must be supplied to the purchaser, based on the plans of the dwelling as constructed (to take account of any design changes during construction.

When a new dwelling is built for a specific owner-occupier: A BER certificate must be procured by the person commissioning the dwelling, prior to taking up occupation of the dwelling.

(2) 1st January 2009: Sale or letting of an existing dwelling.
A BER certificate must accompany an offer to sell or let an existing dwelling by th e vendor or by the landlord or by their agent (e.g. auctioneer, estate agent, solicitor).


15.      What Impact Will BERs Have on Owners Selling or Renting a Dwelling?
The regulations apply to new dwellings for which planning permission was applied for on or after 1st January 2007 and to Existing Buildings (dwellings and other buildings) when offered for sale or letting on or after 1st January 2009. A person wishing to sell or rent a house will be required to get an energy rating carried out and to provide prospective buyers or tenants with this information. This will increase awareness of energy performance as a factor in the property market. Those with better rated homes i.e. more energy efficient homes will be motivated to highlight this as a positive selling point while those with poorer rated homes may be motivated to upgrade their homes as set out in the advisory report.

It is expected that investments in the energy performance of homes will benefit building owners and users in terms of improved comfort, lower energy running costs and possibly higher property values. Over time it can be expected to contribute to a change in market behaviour, which will ultimately improve the energy efficiency of the national housing stock and collectively, over time, these market activities could result in an environmental protection benefit in terms of a reduction in CO2 emissions from Ireland’s national building stock

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