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New Energy Efficiency and Ventilation Standards for Major Renovations to Dwellings

From 01 November 2019, new building standards will apply to major renovations on existing residential dwellings. Such dwellings will require a Building Energy Rating (BER) of B2 or equivalent. A BER certificate shows a building’s energy performance. Most existing dwellings (houses or apartments) are energy inefficient. Seventy-eight per cent of dwellings have a C2 BER or worse.

Where more than 25% of the surface area of the existing dwelling (this included the walls and the roof) is being renovated, the energy performance of the building or the renovated part of the building must meet the new energy efficiency requirements. The standards must be met if it is technically, functionally and economically possible.

Typically, the requirement will apply where a homeowner is doing one of the following:

  • an external wall renovation (external or internal insulation)
  • an external wall and window renovation
  • an external wall and roof renovation
  • an external wall and floor renovation
  • a new extension

These changes will result in newly renovated homes being more energy efficient. They will give health benefits from greater comfort and improved air quality. With 40% of Ireland’s energy-related carbon emissions coming from buildings, these changes will help address climate change.

These changes come from the EU’s Major Renovation Regulations. The regulations will apply to major renovations that start or take place on or after 01 November 2019 except where:

  1. An application for planning permission or planning approval made under the Planning and Development Act 2000, made on or before 31 October 2019 and where substantial work (that is, the structure’s external walls have been erected) has been completed by 31 October 2020, or
  2. Certain notices of planning permission or planning approval have been published on or before 31 October 2019 and where substantial work is finished by 31 October 2020

If you are planning on getting a major renovation done to your home it is a good idea to know about these requirements and to discuss them with an architect or planning professional before the project begins.

The Government provides Home Energy grants for:

  • insulation
  • heat pump systems
  • heating controls
  • solar water heating
  • solar electricity

For more information on these grants and how you can apply for them for major renovations to your home to reduce your costs, visit the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland’s website.