Almost half of rented houses and apartments in Dublin city have low energy ratings putting their tenants at risk of fuel poverty, according to a Dublin City Council commissioned report.
The report by Codema, the energy advisory agency for Dublin local authorities, found 48 per cent of rental properties had a Building Energy Rating (BER) of D or lower. The scale runs from A to G – with G-rated homes being the most difficult to keep warm.
The Spatial Energy Demand Analysis report shows the energy use and costs in more than 200,000 homes, rented and owned, in the city. The best energy ratings were found in areas with large numbers of new homes such as the docklands and the north fringe of the city around Clongriffin and the newly constructed parts in Ballymun.
The city’s older suburbs and the city centre fared worst with low BER ratings in both poor and affluent older areas. “The most common BER is a middling D rating, with some of the older areas of the city averaging lower E and F ratings,” the report states.
These lower ratings are found around the Liberties and St James’s Hospital and stretching out to Drimnagh, Crumlin, Terenure, Rathmines and Rathgar on the south side of the city, and on the north side, Stoneybatter, Mountjoy, East Wall and out to Cabra, Phibsborough, Drumcondra and Marino.
The lowest BER ratings were found in two of the poorest areas of the city. These areas with G ratings are both in the north inner city around North Frederick Street and Dorset Lane off the North Circular Road.
In the North Frederick Street area, the study identified 135 dwellings, 128 of which were “ very small apartments or flats” and 120 were built pre-1970. “The cost of keeping these dwellings heated sufficiently is estimated to be €1,318 per year, per dwelling.”
The study identifies the areas most at risk of energy poverty, based on the three most influential factors; the energy efficiency of the home, affordability (in terms of unemployment), and the cost of energy per household.
The 10 areas most at risk of fuel poverty were: Cromcastle, Coolock; Cappagh Road, Finglas; Muskerry Road area, Ballyfermot; Landen/Lally Road, Ballyfermot; sections of Blackhorse Avenue in Dublin 7; Belvedere Avenue, Ballybough; Ventry Park, Cabra; Arran Quay; Sherrard Avenue, Ballybough; and Cabra Road.
The study uses the CSO “Small Area” data, the smallest geographical breakdown used for statistical purposes. Each area studied has between 50 and 200 homes. Just over 35 per cent of Dublin city homes have had a BER assessment, but some areas have significantly higher rates. In Dublin 1, 60 per cent of properties have BER certs, this is likely due to the high number of rented properties, the report said, because landlords must have BER assessments to offer a property for rent.
“A real concern is the number of rented dwellings which have very poor BERs,” the report said.