From 1 November 2019, the construction and design of new dwellings and the execution of major renovations will be required to follow the rules introduced by S.I. 183 of 2019 (the "Energy Efficiency Performance Regulations 2019"). The short series of questions and answers which follow outline the main changes made.
1. What do the Energy Performance Regulations 2019 apply to, and what do they require?
The Energy Performance Regulations 2019 apply to works in connection with the design and construction of new dwellings, and works to existing dwellings undergoing major renovations (i.e. where more than 25% of the surface of the building envelope undergoes renovation), which will take place on or after 1 November 2019. They require:
- major renovation works to meet the cost-optional level of energy performance (as described in the Regulations) in so far as is technically, functionally and economically feasible from 1 November 2019.
- the minimum energy performance requirement of a dwelling undergoing major renovation to be upgraded to meet the cost optimal level of energy performance in the part being renovated or in the dwelling itself, in so far as is technically, functionally and economically feasible.
- new dwellings to meet the Nearly Zero Energy Performance requirement (as described in regulation 8) from 1 November 2019.
2. What are the specific requirements for new dwellings from 1 November 2019?
New dwellings must meet the Nearly Zero Energy Performance requirements (as described in regulation 8) from 1 November 2019.
The requirements are to:
(a) provide that the energy performance of the building is such as to limit the calculated primary energy consumption and related carbon dioxide to that of a nearly zero energy building within the meaning of EU law, insofar as is reasonably practicable, when both energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions are calculated using the Dwelling Energy Assessment Procedure ("DEAP") published by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland;
(b) provide that the nearly zero or very low amount of energy required is covered to a very significant extent by energy from renewable sources, including energy from renewable sources produced on-site or nearby;
(c) limit the heat loss, where appropriate, availing of heat gain through the fabric of the building;
(d) provide and commission energy efficient space and water heating systems with efficient heat sources and effective controls;
(e) provide that all oil and gas fired boilers meet a minimum seasonal efficiency of 90%;
(f) provide the dwelling owner with 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.
3. What do the Energy Performance Regulations 2019 not apply to?
The Energy Performance Regulations 2019 do not apply to:
i. applications for planning permission or approvals made on or before 31 October 2019 where substantial work has been completed by 31 October 2020 (i.e. the structure of the external walls of the dwelling has been erected); or
ii. situations where a notice pursuant to part 8 of the planning and development regulations 2001 (in other words a notice relating to local authority works) has been published on or before 31 October 2019 and substantial work has been completed (i.e. the structure of the external walls of the dwelling has been erected) by 31 October 2020, or
iii. national monuments or protected or proposed protected structures (see further regulation 5).
4. Will further guidance be issued, and will compliance be demonstrated?
Regulation 9 provides the Minister with the opportunity to publish technical guidance documents to help demonstrate compliance with the nearly zero energy performance and cost optimal level performance requirements of the Regulations. Should the Minister publish technical guidance documents, the Energy Performance Regulations 2019 state design and construction in accordance with the guidance documents will indicate compliance with these Regulations.