The new European Union (Energy Performance of Buildings) Regulations 2019 (the 2019 Regulation) came into effect on 1 November 2019. The Regulations are based on the EU (Energy Performance of Buildings) Directive.
The Regulations will apply to all new dwellings commencing construction from 1 November 2019.
Transitional arrangements apply in relation to dwellings for which planning approval or permission is applied for on or before 31 October 2019 and where substantial work has been completed by 31 October 2020.
These regulations do not apply to a protected structure or proposed protected structure within the meaning of the Planning and Development Act 2000.
Key provisions of the 2019 Regulation.
• All New Homes must be ‘Nearly Zero Energy (NZEB) and have a typical Building Energy Rating (BER) of A2 (current rating for new builds of A3). A NZEB is defined in the Regulations “as a building that has a very high energy performance and the nearly zero or very low amount of energy required should be covered to a very significant extent by energy from renewable sources, including energy from renewable sources produced on-site or nearby”.
• The Regulations identify some of the measures that may be taken to achieve this standard such as (a) providing that the energy performance of the building is such as to limit the calculated primary energy consumption and related carbon dioxide (CO2) to that of a nearly zero energy building, (b) providing that the nearly zero or very low amount of energy required is covered to a very significant extent by energy from renewable sources, limiting the heat loss; (c) providing and commissioning energy efficient space and water heating systems with efficient heat sources and effective controls; (d) providing that all oil and gas fired boilers shall meet a minimum seasonal efficiency of 90%; and (e) providing to the dwelling owner sufficient information about the building, the fixed building services, their controls and their maintenance requirements so that the building can be operated in such a manner as to use no more fuel and energy than is reasonable.
Existing dwellings and major renovations
Where major renovations are carried out on an existing dwelling in circumstances where more than 25% of the surface of the building undergoes renovation then the energy performance of the building must be upgraded to a BER rating of B2 or equivalent. This is interesting because most Irish homes fall into the C and D BER categories while 54,936, are rated D1.
In conclusion, compliance with the Regulations is likely to impose a cost on those seeking to buy new houses or renovate a house. But that in the long term benefits should result in more energy efficient houses, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and reduced energy bills