Tuesday, 29th September: The Irish Green Building Council (IGBC) published today the results of a feasibility study on the opportunity of introducing Building Renovation Passports in Ireland.
Building Renovation Passports are masterplans for deep retrofit and include a record of the work carried out. They provide a clear plan, a set of actions, a sequence for them to be carried out, as well as estimated costs, hence empowering homeowners to undertake deep energy retrofits. Building renovation passports are more and more considered as a key solution in Europe to address barriers to energy renovation. The new Energy Performance of Buildings Directive suggests that Governments should consider the feasibility of introducing Building Renovation Passports.
In 2020, the Irish Green Building Council trained 10 Irish energy auditors in the development of Building Renovation Passports. The auditors subsequently piloted the passports on 20 single-family dwellings across Ireland. The study has been supported with financial contribution from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland under the SEAI National Energy Research, Development & Demonstration Funding Programme 2018.
Pat Barry, CEO of the IGBC said: “The feedback that we received as part of the pilot was extremely positive: 89% of the homeowners involved felt the Building Renovation Passports enable and motivate them to realise concrete renovation measures in the near future. Building Renovation Passports address the barriers to consumer decision-making by giving homeowners the technical information, they need to make informed choices”. The feedback received from the energy auditors was equally positive. Many of them highlighted that the record of work could enable better monitoring of policy impacts, hence informing future policies and investment decisions.
Phil Hemmingway, Head of the Research & Technology Department at SEAI said: “The Government’s Climate Action Plan sets an ambitious target for 500,000 homes to be upgraded to a BER of B2 or better in the next decade. SEAI is delighted to support projects such as this through its National Energy Research, Development & Demonstration Funding Programme. This project led by the IGBC explores potential enhancements to the BER rating system. While aspects will be addressed in the new BER Advisory Report, we look forward to investigating potential to expand further. The more we can educate homeowners about energy, the more empowered they will become to undertake energy upgrades and improve the comfort and performance of their homes.”
Auditor Sean Byrne of energy consultants 2Eva said: “Building Renovation Passports could provide invaluable information to SEAI, but also to energy auditors and new homeowners, who often have very little information on the work that has been completed. For SEAI, it could be a way to gather and interpret very large amount of data to improve policies. For energy auditors, any documentation of previous interventions, no matter how incomplete, is extremely helpful to develop a renovation plan.”
Mr Barry added: “Recording the work done to a property is extremely useful when a property is sold. By allowing the new owner to take up where the previous owner left off, Building Renovation Passports should increase transparency when a property changes hands and enable the new owner to seamlessly continue the work”.
The report recommends integrating Building Renovation Passports within the existing BER system and to make it a requirement for grants. It also highlights that it may need to be subsidised for the homeowner.
Download here Building Renovation Passport – Feasibility Study