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New Energy Efficiency Standards for New Dwellings

From 01 November 2019, new building standards will apply to all new residential dwellings (houses or apartments). New dwellings will typically require a Building Energy Rating (BER) of A2. This compares with the current requirement of a rating of A3 for new residential dwellings. A BER certificate shows a building’s energy performance.

New dwellings with this high level of energy performance are called Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB). NZEB homes will be 70% more energy efficient and emit 70% less carbon dioxide than those built under 2005 Building Regulations standards.

The changes will result in new homes being more energy efficient and cheaper to heat than existing dwellings. They will give health benefits through increased comfort and better air quality.

With 40% of Ireland’s energy-related carbon emissions coming from buildings, these changes will help address climate change. Statistics show that NZEB Regulations are removing the use of solid fuel in new dwellings and benefitting outdoor air quality.       

These changes come from the EU Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB) Regulations. The regulations will apply to the design and construction of a new dwelling where works start on or after 01 November 2019, except where:

  1. An application for planning permission is made on or before 31 October 2019 and where substantial work (that is, the structure’s external walls have been built) has been completed by 31 October 2020, or
  2. A notice of planning permission has been published on or before 31 October 2019 and where substantial work has been completed by 31 October 2020

For more information on NZEB buildings, visit the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland’s website.

Ireland is considered a role model for many other countries on how to effectively design and implement energy efficiency strategies for new buildings and building renovation. For more, read the World Bank’s recent Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy (RISE) report