Because we’re a bit geeky about things like this, we thought it’d be interesting to compare the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the house we designed for a site outside Enniskillen, with a sample Building Energy Rating Certificate (BER) of the kind used in the Republic of Ireland. The Energy Performance Certificate that’s used in the north to illustrate the energy performance of a building is basically the same as the Building Energy Rating Certificate used in the south, although in a slightly different format. The Energy Performance Certificate shows the energy performance on an easily readable scale from A to G, with A being the best performance and G the worst. The Building Energy Rating Certificate is slightly more detailed in that it subdivides the A- G scale into A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3 etc. but the information on both certificates is in the same format so it’s easy to compare them. By way of explanation, an Energy Performance Certificate or Building Energy Rating Certificate is compulsory for all homes offered for sale or rent. An Energy Performance Certificate or Building Energy Rating Certificate is also required before a new home is occupied for the first time.
The reason we were curious is because the house we designed outside Enniskillen got an A rating on the Energy Performance Certificate, and we were wondering whether it would have got an A1, A2 or A3 BER had it been built in the south. It turns out that with the values listed on the Energy Performance Certificate, it would very comfortably have achieved an A1 rating in the south. Which was fine until we checked the Building Energy Rating Certificate Register and discovered that of the 458,505 houses on the Register, only six are A1 rated! We’re not sure why only six have been built, but we’re guessing that it’s because the standard of design and construction that would be required to achieve A1 is so high; happily we were able to achieve that with the help of a motivated builder and an understanding client. The exciting thing is that because of the hands- on role we had during the construction, we can now see areas where we can reach an even higher standard in the future, so it’s now a case of pushing on to the next level. The next step is to design a carbon- neutral house…. now that really would be a fantastic achievement.