Most of us are blissfully unaware of Building Energy Rating (BER) until it comes to buying our first home. We soon figure out that D2 means it will be cold and expensive to heat – probably built in the 1960s – whereas B1 spells snug and cosy, with good insulation. But that’s a bit vague and unscientific. What exactly is BER and why should it concern us?
Introduced by European directive in 2002, a Building Energy Rating calculates the effect of energy-saving measures in the home, in a bid to reduce carbon dioxide emission levels for buildings. A one-step increase in BER rating can increase the sale price of your home by as much as 2.8%. It’s therefore well worth knowing how small improvements, such as a strategically placed rug or energy-efficient lightbulb can improve your rating, not to mention the environment. We take you through the ins and outs of the energy performance of buildings with our handy guide.