Buying Or Renting? Demand Your Ber And Save Thousands

By: Anthony Connors

The Irish government in all its wisdom this year introduced legislation that can help everybody buying or renting property save thousands of euro's a year. Unfortunately they forgot to tell anybody! But it's true and it's here.

It comes in the form of a Building Energy Rating Certificate (BER cert.). This harmless piece of paper provides you with an insight into the running costs of your property. The cert. is similar to those found on home electrical appliances, fridges etc, it allows you (at a glance) to establish if your property will have high or low running costs and the difference can be massive, thousands of euro a year.

Put that over the life time of your mortgage and then we're taking serious money. If you are a house buyer then the the good news is the seller has to by law, provide this certificate to you on request.

Here's a further breakdown to help explain what it means;

Since the start of this year it's been law that any person selling or letting a property must provide a BER certificate. Basically this certificate informs the purchaser whether the properties heating, lighting and hot water costs are going to be high or low. This is shown on a simple energy usage scale from G being the most expensive to A1 being the cheapest to run and the difference can be huge.

It is estimated that an average 3 bed house fitted with a wood pellet boiler, which would result in a higher BER rating, could save EUR25,000 over 30 years compared with a similar house fitted with an oil fired boiler and this is only one element of the potential saving available. e.g. you wouldn't buy a car without knowing the mpg so why buy a house without knowing its running costs!

So what if you find the house of your dreams and it has a bad rating? Don't worry. When the government introduced this legislation they not only supplied you with an insight into running costs but they also gave you a great bargaining tool. Simply use a low BER rating to negotiate a better price and get those savings now.

In the future, as the government pushes to reduce Co2 levels and energy usage, it is expected that a properties BER rating will greatly affect the resale value.

So as a buyer demand to see the BER certificate and save yourself thousands of euros. It's the law; it will cost you nothing, so ask for it!