BER - Fit for Purpose?

noproblem

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So how are the BER's calculated every day if there's no way of certifying the u value of older windows? Just find it rather strange and never heard about this before.
I applied through An Post for one of their free surveys, went with raised flooring in the attic along with 200mm extra insulation. There's a BER calculation done when it's all finished. My house was built in or around 2006. Paid my deposit as requested on Feb 18th and haven't heard a word since. My windows and doors were fitted in aprox 2006. The guy who came out to do the survey was also a BER surveyor and said they take the calculation of the windows into account for the BER from the stamp imprinted on the glass. He won't be doing my BER calculation as he says it might compromise him, so they send another surveyor to do it when work is complete. I await.
 
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sibsssidor

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So how are the BER's calculated every day if there's no way of certifying the u value of older windows? Just find it rather strange and never heard about this before.
I applied through An Post for one of their free surveys, went with raised flooring in the attic along with 200mm extra insulation. There's a BER calculation done when it's all finished. My house was built in or around 2006. Paid my deposit as requested on Feb 18th and haven't heard a word since. Munster Joinery did my windows and doors aprox 2006. The guy who came out to do the survey was also a BER surveyor and said they take the calculation of the windows into account for the BER from the stamp imprinted on the glass. He won't be doing my BER calculation as he says it might compromise him, so they send another surveyor to do it when work is complete. I await.
No idea. They must have some default value for double glazed windows? :-|
 

noproblem

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Just shows how ridiculous the BER rating is, in my opinion. Would be a far better decision if (as someone else mentioned before) the powers that be found out where draughts, heat loss, etc, were in a house, and fix those. Is it any wonder that some A rated houses are now being found to be using the same heat cost as C and D rated dwellings? The mind boggles sometimes with those so called experts
 

SPC100

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From what I've seen, BER is more like art than science. Or maybe we should say it's an indicative estimate.

That assume some level of performance from stated materials. But if that are damaged or badly installed, or details incorrectly entered in the tool.....

It doesn't talk about build quality.
 

Leo

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So how are the BER's calculated every day if there's no way of certifying the u value of older windows? Just find it rather strange and never heard about this before.
The BER is far from perfect, but it's perfectly good enough for the intended purpose. It was never intended to offer anything more than a rough guide, and to do so at low cost. You suggestion of establishing facts relating to draughts, heat loss, etc. would mean a comprehensive testing that would cost in the thousands to perform. It Would you really want to pay that much, and pay it twice if you were looking for a grant for a PV installation or improved insulation? Pay it to sell or rent out a property?

At the very start it was easy to become a BER assessor as they needed to get numbers into the system, but now qualified BER assessors must prove that they can make a reasonably accurate assessment of the energy performance of the components they enter into the DEAP system within acceptable margins.

If a homeowner really wants to do a comprehensive assessment with a view to prioritising improvements, then there are lots of companies like Micks'r's who will take on that work, and they can chose to pay for the level of detail they want to get to.

Anyway, this was discussed elsewhere, so let's not derail this thread any more.
 

noproblem

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The BER is far from perfect, but it's perfectly good enough for the intended purpose. It was never intended to offer anything more than a rough guide, and to do so at low cost. You suggestion of establishing facts relating to draughts, heat loss, etc. would mean a comprehensive testing that would cost in the thousands to perform. It Would you really want to pay that much, and pay it twice if you were looking for a grant for a PV installation or improved insulation? Pay it to sell or rent out a property?

At the very start it was easy to become a BER assessor as they needed to get numbers into the system, but now qualified BER assessors must prove that they can make a reasonably accurate assessment of the energy performance of the components they enter into the DEAP system within acceptable margins.

If a homeowner really wants to do a comprehensive assessment with a view to prioritising improvements, then there are lots of companies like Micks'r's who will take on that work, and they can chose to pay for the level of detail they want to get to.

Anyway, this was discussed elsewhere, so let's not derail this thread any more.
In no way was I trying to derail the thread. Just pointing out that BER certs, in my opinion, are not fit for purpose. As I say, my opinion, you're quite entitled to your opinion too and I've no problem with that.
 

Leo

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In no way was I trying to derail the thread. Just pointing out that BER certs, in my opinion, are not fit for purpose.
Sorry, wasn't suggesting you were, just other threads have been by posters who think a comprehensive test that would cost thousands makes sense for someone claiming a grant worth a few hundred.

What do you think would constitute an effective means of assessing the energy performance of a typical 3 bedroom house for less than €250?
 

noproblem

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Sorry, wasn't suggesting you were, just other threads have been by posters who think a comprehensive test that would cost thousands makes sense for someone claiming a grant worth a few hundred.

What do you think would constitute an effective means of assessing the energy performance of a typical 3 bedroom house for less than €250?
Hard to be genuinely correct in answering, without first having a draught test and fixing the faults that test shows up. Then again, that's not exactly going to answer your question either. I guess what you spend on heating the house afterwards, as against the cost beforehand might be a good gauge.
 

Leo

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Hard to be genuinely correct in answering, without first having a draught test and fixing the faults that test shows up. Then again, that's not exactly going to answer your question either. I guess what you spend on heating the house afterwards, as against the cost beforehand might be a good gauge.
But draught testing will add hundreds to the cost and so make the test unfit for the purpose of administering relatively low value grants.

Likewise, measuring heating costs is not reliable or practical. If a house is constantly occupied they will likely heat it a lot more than a household where everyone is out at work most of the day. Some people like a house quite cool, my mother complains if it's less than 25 degrees! Then there is quite a variation in prices between suppliers for gas, oil, coal, wood, etc., and how do you factor in people who supplement or mainly burn their own turf or timber?

The purpose of the BER is not to get a really accurate measure of performance, it's to get something cheap that gives a good enough approximation.
 

noproblem

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But draught testing will add hundreds to the cost and so make the test unfit for the purpose of administering relatively low value grants.

Likewise, measuring heating costs is not reliable or practical. If a house is constantly occupied they will likely heat it a lot more than a household where everyone is out at work most of the day. Some people like a house quite cool, my mother complains if it's less than 25 degrees! Then there is quite a variation in prices between suppliers for gas, oil, coal, wood, etc., and how do you factor in people who supplement or mainly burn their own turf or timber?

The purpose of the BER is not to get a really accurate measure of performance, it's to get something cheap that gives a good enough approximation.
You did ask for my opinion:)
As for the turf burners? I meet them every day, salt of the earth. Oops, shouldn't have mentioned salt either, supposedly very bad for us too. Maybe it's time for the goverment of the day to give older people, 65+, a grant to spend the winters in warmer countries? Now, there's a thought Leo.
 

Micks'r

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The purpose of the BER is not to get a really accurate measure of performance, it's to get something cheap that gives a good enough approximation.
But the thing is that while a BER is certainly cheap, it doesn't give a good enough approximation ... that can be relied upon to guide real and actual improvements in heat retention for any value grant aided measures. That's not what it was originally designed for but is now being (wrongly in my mind) shoehorned into doing and the general public are been sold a pup with it as well as tax payers money being wasted.
 

Leo

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But the thing is that while a BER is certainly cheap, it doesn't give a good enough approximation ... that can be relied upon to guide real and actual improvements in heat retention for any value grant aided measures.
How would you expect a single overall score to be able to provide that guidance?

The accompanying notes from a good assessor can add that colour, but again, the BER was never designed to perform a comprehensive assessment of performance or to provide sufficient details that would allow a homeowner to prioritise one improvement over another.

That's not what it was originally designed for but is now being (wrongly in my mind) shoehorned into doing and the general public are been sold a pup with it as well as tax payers money being wasted.
So what testing system would you recommend that would cost no more to implement and would be able to calculate an accurate ROI on the various improvement options?
 

Micks'r

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So what testing system would you recommend that would cost no more to implement and would be able to calculate an accurate ROI on the various improvement options?
This is an excellent question.
Imo, there are no cheap testing systems that will give accurate results in the absence of a properly qualified / trained industry. That's the point. And that education starts with the SEAI. Until this is properly understood we will continue to literally burn tax payers money in the billions by grant aiding the wrong stuff.
 

Leo

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This is an excellent question.
Imo, there are no cheap testing systems that will give accurate results in the absence of a properly qualified / trained industry.
What training or qualifications are the current BER assessors lacking that are holding the system back?
 

Leo

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And that's just it. You're expecting a much more comprehensive testing and reporting system that would cost significantly more to run. The additional costs would mean the system is no longer suitable for administering small grants deterring homeowners from making improvements and just lining the pockets of the inspection and testing industry.
 

NoRegretsCoyote

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I last paid €250 for a BER two years ago and I presume going rate is still similar. The system provides basic-but-useful useful information to prospective buyers and tenants about likely heating costs.

If you want to really make your home energy efficient you will have to spend more though. This would be the case even if the BER system didn't exist.

For sales and lettings I really don't think there is public appetite for a Rolls Royce default costing 3 or 4 times what I paid.
 

Micks'r

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What training or qualifications are the current BER assessors lacking that are holding the system back?
I'm not talking about assessors not having the correct training here I'm talking about the BER system being used to do something that it cannot in its present form. And by industry I mean everyone involved in construction (engineers, architects, general contractors, sparks, labourer etc).
The BER system is a tool for comparing like with like dwellings and not for deciding what/how to retrofit.
 

Leo

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I'm not talking about assessors not having the correct training here I'm talking about the BER system being used to do something that it cannot in its present form.
But how does the training of people outside the BER assessment process reflect on the suitability of the BER process which is what we're talking about here?
 
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