Dáil Éireann - Volume 673 - 05 February, 2009
Written Answers. - Energy Ratings.
Deputy Michael Creed Deputy Michael Creed
 Deputy Michael Creed asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will introduce a standard cost for BER assessments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3831/09]
Deputy John Deasy Deputy John Deasy
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his views on whether the BER process has been compromised by recent discoveries of inconsistent ratings on the same property by different assessors; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3838/09]
Deputy John Gormley Deputy John Gormley
Deputy John Gormley: I propose to take Questions Nos. 20 and 32 together.
I refer to the reply to Question Nos. 1041, 1042, 1061 and 1111 of 27 January 2009.
In order to encourage the development of a competitive cost environment, and in line with other EU Member States, no standard fee for Building Energy Rating (BER) assessments has been set. There are currently almost 1,700 BER assessors registered with Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) and this number is expected to grow, given that over 4,800 persons have successfully completed training. The conditions for a healthy competitive market for this service, are, therefore, in place and a downward pressure on the cost of BER assessments is already evident. As with all services, home owners are advised to shop around for the best deal available.
In relation to recent media reports of inconsistent ratings, the position is that, when a registered BER assessor completes an assessment on a property, he/she is required to lodge the relevant data on SEI’s National Administration System (NAS). The NAS undertakes detailed validation checks on each BER assessment received and can query an assessor in relation to any irregular data submitted. This is an essential safeguard in a complex process where the potential for human error can exist. I am informed by SEI that the assessments in question were not lodged on the NAS and do not constitute official BER results. All BER assessment activity is closely monitored by SEI and a robust system of audit and quality assurance checks is in place.
Dáil Éireann 673 Written Answers. Energy Ratings.