Research | How many homeowners know their BER rating of their home

Only 39% of homeowners know the BER rating of their home and what it means, according to new research from Aviva

Additional insulation, new windows/doors and solar panels are the top choices for those looking to make their homes more energy efficient

Some 3 in 5 (60%) homeowners know the Building Energy Rating (BER) of their home, but only 39% of them understand what it means. The remaining 21%, although knowing the rating, admitted to not fully understanding what it means. However, 40% of those surveyed claimed that they do not know the BER rating of their home, with 10% saying they don’t understand what BER means. These are some of the key findings of a survey of 629 homeowners nationwide carried out by iReach Insights on behalf of Aviva Insurance Ireland DAC (Aviva) looking to gain insight into awareness of energy ratings in the home and how best to improve it.

The Aviva survey found that:

  • More men (42%) than women (36%) claimed they know the rating of their home and what it means.
  • Those aged 25-34 (45%) and 35-44 (42%) are more aware of the energy rating of their home and what it means.
  • Some 35% of those aged 55+ do not know the rating of their home but understand what BER means.

Making homes more efficient

The Aviva survey found that additional insulation in the attic or walls is the top consideration for 27% of those who want to make their homes more energy efficient. New windows and or external doors (24%) is second, followed by solar panels at 23%. Other energy efficient options included wrapping the house (12%), new heating system or stove (10%) or a new roof (4%).

  • Those aged 55+ (27%) are most likely to opt to have solar panels fitted to their homes to save energy.
  • Survey respondents aged 25-34 and 45-54 were more likely to opt for new windows and/or external doors at 32% respectively.

There are many reasons why homeowners should focus on improving the BER rating of their homes where possible. These include the potential to save significant ongoing costs of energy bills, while increasing the value of the home. Since November 2019, new building standards apply to all new residential dwelling which typically require a BER of A2. These new homes with high level of energy performance are called Nearly Zero Energy Buildings and they are 70% more energy efficient and emit 70% less carbon dioxide than those built under the previous building regulations standards.

Julie Frazer, Aviva

According to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland’s (SEAI) website, the value of a home increases by 1% for every level you go up on the BER scale. For example, a home that goes from a BER of G to a B2 rating will increase in value by 10%. Therefore, it makes sense to carry out energy upgrades to your home as it will increase its value, save you money on energy bills and is better for the environment. The SEAI website has some good information regarding BER ratings and cost savings, priorities when retrofitting, and the impact of retrofitting/BER ratings on the value of homes. Homeowners who have completed energy efficient upgrades to their homes should also ensure that the increased value is factored into the building sum insured that they have selected when insuring the property.

Julie Frazer, Aviva

BER report

Almost half (46%) of homeowners surveyed said they would definitely get a BER report before making home improvements for sustainability and efficiency, with a further 44% claiming that they would not need one as they know what improvements they would like to do. Some 10% of respondents said that, as they had never heard of a BER report, they would have to look into it.

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