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From bills to BER ratings: Rate your energy needs when buying a home here

We’re building a picture of what first-time buyers in Ireland today are looking for – and the help they need along the way.

Image: Shutterstock/Andrey_Popov

BUYING YOUR FIRST home is an exciting time – but it is also a time when big decisions come thick and fast.

This autumn, we’re setting out to understand what first-time buyers in Ireland want, and what they need.

We want to know what you’re confident about, what you’re not so sure of, and what stresses you out. And we want to help along the journey, by providing the most relevant answers and the most informed advice

Over the full series we’ll be tackling five key topics for homes on the market: price and quality; location and community; what’s inside; energy and sustainability; and moving in. These align with the topics of a recent survey of first-time buyers on Daft.ie, which we’ll also be reviewing.

In our third article, we’re looking at bills, energy and sustainable technology. How big a factor are energy bills and sustainability measures to you? How much have you accounted for in terms of running costs?

Answer the questions below to build a picture of your priorities – and see how you compare to other first-time buyers. Each time you give a rating, you’ll see how your number matches the overall reader average.  

First up: The features of an individual home can make a huge difference when it comes to creating a space that is warm and cosy when it needs to be. What are you looking for in your future home?


A cosy space can make all the difference. How important is it to you that a home is easy to heat, on a scale from 1 to 10?



Home heating systems have made rapid progress in terms of sustainability. Today’s options range from highly efficient condensing boilers to ultra-modern heat pumps. How much would the heating system affect your choice of home? Rate 1 for not at all, 10 for a significant effect.



The level of insulation and airtightness of a home can be one of the biggest factors affecting energy bills. How likely would you be to check or ask about this at a viewing, with 1 being very unlikely and 10 being very likely?



Homes can vary a lot in their carbon footprint - both in construction, and in ongoing energy use. 

When looking for a home to buy, how much of a consideration is the carbon footprint, on a scale from 1 to 10?


Next, the upfront cost of a home is one thing, but how much have you considered the annual bills? For many households, heating is the largest annual expenditure on the home aside from a mortgage. Do you have the tools to spot any hidden costs?


Do you feel like you have a clear understanding of what the home BER rating means in practice? Rate 1 for very unclear, 10 for totally clear.



In response to demand, Daft.ie recently introduced the option to search homes by BER rating. When you’re viewing properties online, where is the BER rating on your list of priorities? Rate 1 for bottom of the list, 10 for top of the list.



More than 85 per cent of first-time buyers in the Daft.ie survey told us that energy costs are either somewhat or extremely important when deciding on a home. That makes sense - an A2-rated three-bedroom home could cost under €400 a year to heat, compared to €2,000 or more for a D2-rated property of the same size.

How likely are you to factor annual bills into your budgeting when choosing a home?



All new homes built in Ireland today have to reach near-zero energy efficiency standards, meaning a BER rating of A2. Older properties generally rate much lower. Would you be likely to choose a new home on this basis? Rate 1 for very unlikely, 10 for very likely.


Once you’ve selected a home and are at the planning stage, there are some technological choices you can build in that may help keep costs – to you, and to the planet – down. 


Using home technology such as smart thermostats can help to optimise your energy use and keep bills down. How likely are you to use a smart thermostat in your home, with 1 being very unlikely and 10 being very likely?



‘An electric car charge point is a desirable feature in a home’. Do you agree?


So how did you compare to other first-time buyers? Are you right on the average, or out on your own? 

Stay tuned for more articles in this series, as we’ll be bringing you expert advice and insights for each topic too.

At Glenveagh Homes, our vision is that everyone should have the opportunity to access great-value, high-quality homes in flourishing communities across Ireland. We understand that buying a home is possibly the biggest decision you will ever make in your life – but we want to make it your easiest. Click here to find out more about Glenveagh developments.

Sponsored by:

Glenveagh Homes

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