Dáil Éireann - Volume 607 - 06 October, 2005
Written Answers. - EU Directives.
Mr. Howlin Mr. Howlin
229. Mr. Howlin asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the considerations which gave rise to his Department’s delay until 2003 in implementing new energy efficiency standards for housing; the basis on which developers have been permitted to build houses to the energy efficiency standards of the unrevised 1997 regulations up to the end of 2005; if the EU energy performance of buildings directive will require that all houses sold or rented must have a certificate to indicate the cost of heating a building; if so, if in delaying implementation of new energy efficiency standards for housing construction, due consideration was given by his Department to the effect of the directive on the market value of houses built to energy inefficient standards after 1998; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27237/05]
Mr. Roche Mr. Roche
Mr. Roche: Thermal performance and insulation standards for new dwellings under part L of the building regulations have been progressively increased since their introduction in 1992 and are due for further upward adjustment by 2008.
The national climate change strategy, NCCS, proposed that 1997 part L standards, operative since 1 July 1998, be significantly increased in two phases in mid-2002 and 2005. The NCCS stated the planned increases were contingent on the outcome of an independent study, commissioned by the building regulations advisory body, BRAB, on the impact of the proposed further increase in thermal performance standards on, inter alia, building systems. The relevant report, by the energy research group in University College Dublin, concluded that the most commonly used house building systems could all be insulated to comply with the proposed part L regime subject to minor adjustments in the proposed standards.
Consequently it was decided to bring forward the planned second phase, 2005, amendment of the part L regulations and to implement the radical increase in thermal performance standards in a single step. Following a public consultation process, amending part L regulations were made in 2002 for new dwellings commencing on or after 1 January 2003. The greatly enhanced standards will reduce energy required for domestic space  heating by an estimated 23% to 33%, depending on the type and size of dwelling.
The 2002 regulations contained a transitional provision whereby the enhanced part L standards do not apply to new dwellings for which planning permission was sought on or before 31 December 2002, provided substantial work has been completed on the new dwellings involved by 31 December 2005. This type of transitional provision is a common feature of building regulation amendments; and is designed to ensure that major changes in building code requirements do not disrupt the construction of new dwellings at an advanced stage of planning or design.
Under the EU energy performance of buildings directive, 2002/91/EC, of 16 December 2002, building energy performance certificates will be required for newly constructed buildings and for existing buildings when sold or let. The certificates will become mandatory on a phased basis over the period 2007 to 2009. For dwellings, the certificate will relate to levels of energy use in standard conditions rather than to heating costs, which also fluctuate in response to changes in fuel prices.
As indicated in section 2.4 of the draft action plan for the implementation of the energy performance of buildings directive in Ireland, April 2005, building energy performance certificates will add to a wide range of factors affecting the marketability of houses for letting or sale. A copy of the draft action plan is available in the Oireachtas Library.
Dáil Éireann 607 Written Answers. EU Directives.