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Background Notes

Non-Domestic Building Energy Ratings


The European Union Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) contains a range of provisions to improve the energy performance of new and existing buildings. The EPBD obliges specific forms of information and advice on energy performance to be provided to building purchasers, tenants and users for consideration in property transactions. A Building Energy Rating (BER) is an indication of the energy performance of a building represented in units of kWh/m2/year. A BER is based on the characteristics of major components of the building. The BER certificate indicates the annual primary energy usage and carbon dioxide emissions associated with the provision of space heating, water heating, ventilation, lighting, and associated pumps and fans. The average annual primary energy use figures and carbon dioxide emissions are not based on actual energy use and emissions data.

These Background notes provide a very general overview together with some specific information on the detailed tables in the release. The SEAI website should be consulted for detailed information on the non-domestic energy assessment procedure (NEAP), see


The figures in this release will be updated on a quarterly basis. Changes to data for the previous quarters will arise mainly from some buildings having another BER audit undertaken and the previous certificate being marked as expired. The difference in the number of BER certificates included in Tables 1 and 2 gives an indication of the number of buildings that have had more than one BER audit undertaken.


Full site surveys have to be carried out for New-final and Existing building assessments. New-provisional ratings do not require a site survey as the assessment is done based on design stage plans – new provisional ratings have been excluded from this release. Some buildings are excluded from the EPBD requirements: national monuments; protected structures; places of worship; temporary buildings; industrial and agricultural buildings not intended for occupancy and below a specified installed heating capacity; and buildings with a total useful floor area of less than 50 square metres. Short-term lettings are not exempt.

A BER for new non-domestic buildings was introduced in July 2008 and for renting of existing non-domestic buildings in January 2009. New regulations came into effect in January 2013 requiring the inclusion of BER information in property sale and rental advertisements.

National representativeness

The data have not been adjusted to represent all non-domestic buildings in the State and hence the tables only represents buildings that have been assessed.


The BER rating scale is divided into categories from G (largest primary energy usage) to an A1 rating (lowest primary energy usage). Energy consumption is expressed in kWh per square metre of floor area of the building per year (kWh/m2/year) and CO2 emissions are expressed in kilograms of carbon dioxide per square metre per annum (kgCO2/m2/year). For the purposes of this release A1, A2, and A3 have been combined because of the small number of Certificates in these categories. The certificate is valid for 10 years unless changes are made to the building.

Table Notes

Table 1 presents the number of BERs published by month since January 2009. A premises that has had BERs conducted in different years is included in each year. This table gives an overview of the number of BER assessments being performed each month.

Tables 2-14 only include the latest BER published for each building i.e. the BER is on the public register and is not expired - the number is lower than the total in Table 1 because expired and replaced certificates have been excluded.

Table 2 shows the number of BER certificates by energy rating and year.

Table 3 classifies the number of BER certificates by energy rating and building type. This relates to the current building use and it is displayed on the BER certificate. Some building types have been combined for the purposes of this release e.g. schools and colleges.

Tables 4-5 profile Building Energy Ratings by county and Dublin postal district. Table 4 is in county within province order.

Table 6 profiles Building Energy Ratings by type of main space heating system fuel. The heating system fuel options are: Mains gas; LPG; Biogas; Oil; Electricity; Coal; Biomass; Waste heat; Anthracite; Smokeless fuel; Dual fuel appliances; and Other. Categories with only a small number of responses have been amalgamated in Table 6.

Tables 7-8 cross-classify main space heating system fuel by county and building type.

Table 9 cross-classifies main ventilation system by building type.

Table 10 shows the average floor area by building type and county.

Tables 11-12 show the average primary energy use and average carbon dioxide figures by building type and county.

Table 13 shows the relationship between period of construction and building energy ratings. It can be linked with changes to the Building Regulations that require new buildings to be more energy efficient.

Table 14 cross-classifies main space heating fuel by period of construction.