What impact does SEI think that this Directive will have on Irish householders?
The Directive will impact on an estimated 170,000 sale or rental transactions per year.
It will mean that anyone buying a house will be able to check the energy performance of the house and get an indication of the annual running costs. Therefore it will allow people to take energy costs into consideration in their purchasing decisions. This is becoming more and more important as energy costs are increasing all the time.
It will allow house hunters to compare the energy performance of two different houses on an equal scale. It will allow you to compare two house that on the surface appear very similar such as two 3 bed semi’s or equally two very different houses, such as a 2 bed apartment and a 5 bed house.
It will improve energy awareness in the property market both for home buyers and developers
The advisory report will provide information to homeowners on how to improve the energy performance of their property and thereby its comfort and affordability, and enhancing its value and sustainability.
The awareness created by the energy rating certificate/ label can be expected over time to place a somewhat higher value on more energy efficient properties, and by implication to encourage/ provoke owners of less energy efficient properties to take steps to upgrade them.
What will happen if you fail to have your house energy rated?
You are only required to have an energy rating carried out if you are selling or renting your house. Otherwise there is no requirement to have an energy rating carried out. (The exact requirements and penalties will be set out in the legislative provisions). However, it may be of benefit for those in older homes to have an energy rating carried out in order to identify how they could improve the energy performance of the house and thereby reduce their annual energy bills.
What kind of impact will this Directive have on those trying to sell or rent out their houses?
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.
It 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
Those with poorer rated homes may be motivated to upgrade their homes as set out in the advisory report.
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.
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.
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.
Is there a danger that these new requirements will slow down property transactions?
There will be a need to ensure rapid turnaround time on assessments, to prevent any negative impact on the propert market. The Draft Action Plan proposes a turnaround time of less than 2 weeks for production of a BER for residential buildings, from the date of first communication by the vendor, lessor, or agent. This is an important reason behind the phased inroduction of the implementation of the Directive, to ensure that there is an adequate supply of registered assessors to meet the service demand that will arise when each phase is made mandatory.
Will there be any impact for other service suppliers?
The advice provided on the scope for upgrading the property will open up business opportunities for suppliers and qualified installers of more energy efficient products (the process of providing energy rating certificates or air conditioning inspections of course provides a separate commercial benefit to the professional specialists involved).
NEW VS EXISTING BUILDINGS
The energy assessment of new buildings should be more straightforward as details – or at least nominal specification details – of the building are available. The same method (DEAP) will be used to demonstrate compliance with Part L of the Building Regulations, therefore, it will be an important incremental exercise for the design team to generate the building energy rating. The argument can be advanced that what transpires on site may not match what is on the drawing board, which is a matter for the developer to ensure, under possible inspection from the local authority Building Control function.
The Building Regulations and the BER apply to a building as built, therefore the plans on which a BER is based reflect what is built on site.
In the case of existing buildings, data gathering is by means of an on-site survey. Much of the detailed information on the buildings may not be available and therefore default data will need to be used. It is also possible that recorded energy consumption data for an existing building representing may have a part to play in assessing the energy performance of some existing buildings.
The above information has been provided by Sustainable Energy Ireland, for further details visit www.seai.ie