Understanding the Importance of a BER Certificate and Government Schemes to Help with its Cost

As an expert in the field of building energy efficiency, I am often asked about the BER certificate and whether there are any government schemes available to help with its cost. The short answer is yes, there are government schemes in place to assist with the cost of obtaining a BER certificate. However, it is important to understand the importance of this certificate and why it is necessary for both homeowners and the government.

The Basics of a BER Certificate

Firstly, let's start with the basics. A BER certificate, also known as a Building Energy Rating certificate, is a document that provides information on the energy performance of a building.

It is similar to the energy efficiency labels you see on household appliances, but instead, it applies to buildings. The certificate rates the energy efficiency of a building on a scale from A to G, with A being the most energy-efficient and G being the least. The BER certificate is required for all new buildings and for existing buildings that are being sold or rented. It is also necessary for any major renovations or extensions that require planning permission. The purpose of this certificate is to inform potential buyers or tenants about the energy efficiency of a building, allowing them to make an informed decision about their future home or workplace.

The Importance of a BER Certificate

Now that we understand what a BER certificate is, let's discuss why it is important.

Firstly, from a homeowner's perspective, having a good BER rating can increase the value of their property. A more energy-efficient building means lower energy bills, which can be an attractive selling point for potential buyers or tenants. From a government perspective, promoting energy efficiency is crucial in reducing carbon emissions and meeting climate change targets. Buildings are responsible for a significant portion of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, so improving their energy efficiency is a key factor in tackling climate change. The BER certificate helps the government track the energy performance of buildings and identify areas for improvement.

Government Schemes to Help with the Cost of a BER Certificate

Now, let's get to the main question - are there any government schemes to help with the cost of a BER certificate? The answer is yes, there are several schemes available depending on your location and circumstances. In Ireland, for example, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) offers grants to homeowners who want to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

This includes grants for BER assessments and upgrades such as insulation, heating systems, and renewable energy systems. These grants can cover up to 35% of the cost of a BER assessment, making it more affordable for homeowners. In the UK, there is the Green Homes Grant scheme which provides vouchers for homeowners to make energy-efficient improvements to their homes. This includes funding for energy performance certificates, which are similar to BER certificates in Ireland. The vouchers can cover up to two-thirds of the cost of eligible improvements, including insulation, heating systems, and double glazing. Other countries also have similar schemes in place, so it is worth researching what options are available in your area.

The Benefits of Government Schemes

Aside from making it more affordable for homeowners to obtain a BER certificate, government schemes also have other benefits.

Firstly, they encourage people to invest in energy-efficient improvements for their homes, which can lead to long-term savings on energy bills. Secondly, they contribute to reducing carbon emissions and promoting sustainable living. And lastly, they create jobs in the energy efficiency sector, boosting the economy.


In conclusion, a BER certificate is an essential document for both homeowners and the government. It provides valuable information on the energy efficiency of a building and helps in the fight against climate change.

While it may come at a cost, there are government schemes available to help with its cost, making it more accessible for homeowners. So if you are planning to sell or rent your property, or simply want to improve its energy efficiency, consider obtaining a BER certificate and take advantage of any government schemes that may be available to you.