Gerard Coyne – A Day in the Life of a BER Assessor

Aoife Kinsella recently spoke to Gerard Coyne to get a day-in-the-life perspective of his role as a BER Assessor.

Gerard Coyne has been registered as a Building Energy Rating (BER) Assessor since 2009, performing the role in his spare time while working in the Building Controls Industry, until he went full-time in late 2019, using his experience to assess over 1000 properties.


During a BER Assessment Gerard considers different aspects of a home such as:

  • type of heating systems
  • whether the home is properly insulated or not
  • the quality of the windows
  • the home’s space and volume
  • the heat-emitters
  • and other energy-saving measures.

The calculation process also considers the number of people who are likely to occupy a building, and the score is based on the average number of occupants in buildings of a similar capacity and size, leaving Gerard several variables to consider.

Gerard uses a bespoke software called DEAP (Dwelling Energy Assessment Procedure), which automatically calculates the energy losses for the dwelling which is delivered as a BER Energy rating.

The role of a BER Assessor is a highly visual one, with photos and meticulous documentation acquired by the SEAI. This, of course, varies from property to property.

“I assessed a simple three-bedroomed semi-detached house, from which I submitted 45 photos as evidence. On the other hand, I recently assessed a more challenging property which had three separate heat pumps and a large extension, so more calculations and assessment were needed. This resulted in 1.1 gigabytes of data, including photos, specification sheets and calculations, being sent to the SEAI.”


Managing expectations is a big challenge for BER Assessors, as Gerard explains:

“In its early days, the role of a BER Assessor was seen as a box-ticking exercise, something that had to be done for the sale or rental of a property.”

Gerard explained. This changed considerably with the introduction of SEAI retrofit grants, which require BER assessments to be signed off. “This puts a lot of pressure on a BER Assessor,” he continued, as it requires them to manage the expectations of homeowners, sellers, and other parties waiting for mortgage drawdowns or grants. “Some people think it’s a waste of time, others are scared of it!”

Another challenge Gerard notes is the limitations of some of the measurements, or “defaults,” which are the basis of his calculations. One such example is solar panels, Gerard explains: “The current default measurement for solar PV panels is a production of 60 watts per square metre, however this is an old calculation, with modern panels now five times less expensive, and producing up to 200 watts/sqm. If I don’t have the right data and due evidence to back up this wattage, I will have to use the older, default measurements, which is unfair on the property owner.”

The role of a BER Assessor is highly accountable, with regular audits and a strict penalty point system in place. Gerard reiterates the importance of good, strong evidence, and a strong eye for detail, to avoid any risks.

Consultative Role

Despite the challenges, Gerard loves his role, thriving on the more challenging properties, the chance to meet all swathes of society, and the procedure and rhythm that his duties provide. “It was pointed out to me recently that I work from the left of a property to the right, which I never realised!.”

Gerard operates with the interests of his clients in mind, with his role gradually becoming a consultative one. Whether it’s a provisional BER Assessment of a new build, calculated by the property plans, (which he strongly recommends to anyone starting a self-build), or of an existing property, extension or retrofitting works, he always considers what’s best for the client.

“I’ve had to talk clients out of using material or completing a job that will either hinder them in the long run. I always ask, “What is the purpose of putting that there?,” and that question can save a client thousands of Euros.”

Advice for homeowners

With decades of experience in the industry, Gerard is now sharing his advice to homeowners via his website

Here visitors can find transparent details of his services, how a BER is calculated, how homeowners can improve their BER, and why a BER is needed.

How to become a BER Assessor

There is a high demand for BER Assessors nationwide, with over 20 open vacancies on, and other sites.

Full training is provided on all processes. For more information about the requirements of a BER Assessment, visit or contact Gerard Coyne at