Mandatory home energy certificates increase
200,000 homes in Ireland are now covered by Building Energy Ratings (BER), which give an indication of the energy performance of a home.
By law, in Ireland, anyone renting or selling a property must now a supply a BER certificate.
The scheme was introduced in 2007 as part of the European Directive to improve the energy efficiency of homes.
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is the registration body for BER assessors and has released figures giving the total of homes now covered by the scheme.
Currently 201,854 homes have been rated by BER assessors, which is an increase of 100,000 since February 2010.
BER ratings are similar to energy rating labels on electrical appliances and cover energy use for space heating, water heating, ventilation and lighting.
A BER certificate is accompanied by an advisory report which identifies how the energy performance of a home can be improved.
The certificates use an A1-G rating, with A1 being the most energy efficient.
SEAI carried out recent research showing that awareness levels of the scheme has increased significantly over the last two years with almost six out of ten people expressing an awareness of the term BER in relation to homes and buildings.
However while the research shows that there has been a rise in awareness amongst those looking to sell their homes (70% compared to 54% in 2009), those in the rental market remain the least aware at 42%.
SEAI chief executive Professor J Owen Lewis said: "Despite the decline in property transactions, there has been a significant demand for BER ratings over the last two years.
"However those renting properties are still not aware of their entitlements to receive a BER.
"We urge those considering renting a property to demand a BER certificate, so they are fully informed of the energy performance of a dwelling before finalising any rent agreement." Alison Brown