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Previously all new houses were to be given a rating on a scale of A to G based on their energy efficiently, but this has now been extended to second hand homes also.

Sustainable Energy Ireland is responsible for issuing the BER certificates, with charges from assessors varying.

Eamon Ryan, minister for communications, marine and natural resources, has encouraged homeowners and buyers to shop around for cheaper prices.

“A BER Certificate and the accompanying Advisory Report will inform people how good or bad their home is at keeping in heat and what they need to do to improve it,” he said.

“It is imperative, however, that consumers get value for the money they spend. I strongly advise consumers to shop around.”

A recent report from Sustainable Energy Ireland discovered that energy related CO2 emissions in Ireland have fallen by 1.4 per cent since 2005.

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