CLG assess cheap EPC providers and accreditation schemes

The Communities and Local Government (CLG) have sent a ‘shock’ letter to the accreditation schemes who oversee and monitor the quality of the Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs).

The CLG have highlighted and/or imposed:

  • poor quality and inaccurate EPCs
  • minimum quality assurance standards
  • additional disciplinary procedures for accreditation schemes

It has been reported that some Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) produced are “strewn with ‘schoolboy errors’ and glaring omissions” amongst other critical points highlighted in the letter.

Details of the individual points can be read here – New disciplinary procedures and quality assurance standards imposed

We largely welcome that the CLG have acted on improving quality within the industry though cannot help but feel it has come slightly late in the day. Those within the industry who have concerned themselves with the production of ‘accurate and correct’ EPCs have been under pressure to compete with ‘cheap EPC providers’  who primarily focus is being the cheapest in the market, often disregarding the quality of their EPC service to be the ‘cheapest’.

It is now clear and evident the downward pressure on price has had a detrimental affect on quality. With the ‘new’ enforcement, disciplinary measures and quality standards one would hope to see standards rise with the associated cost to a sensible level.

‘Cheap EPC providers’ seem to be continually under question though this development must put them further at threat. This comes soon after the Institute of Domestic Energy Assessors created a ‘blacklist of  cheap EPC suppliers’ they advise their members to avoid working for due to poor payment history to their members.

Energy assessors have for some time coined the phrase, ‘pay peanuts, get monkeys’ though it now seems evident that many of the monkeys are not even getting the peanuts that was agreed upon.

Unfortunately, the accreditation schemes have also become ‘victims’ of the price squeeze we have witnessed. They have quite often lowered their trade prices to domestic energy assessors for EPC lodgement fees; to compete and win new business from new energy assessors or those with other accreditation schemes.

Finally, CLG have decided to act on concerns in regard to lowering quality and hopefully this new impetus will give them further vigour to also look at other associated areas.

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8 Responses to “CLG assess cheap EPC providers and accreditation schemes”

  1. I have no sympathy for some accreditation schemes. They have been skating too close to the wind. One scheme even went as far as saying we will reduce your fees if you accept there is no support with software and tech enquiries. Is this an accreditation scheme or software company?

    The schemes should be increasing price to DEAs and providing more towards supporting their memebers, not competing against them. They teach DEAs about conflict of interest and then do exactly that themselves.

    Who would of thought it, an accreditation scheme who trains you, accredits you and then goes after work they trained you to do. O……… and also offers discounts to panels who are known to be absolutely unconcerned with quality and let them do their own auditing.

    The CLG report is a good thing but they have not gone far enough.

  2. If the accreditation schemes continue to focus on training more people who are not needed, then further pressure will be put on their prices with more reduction in quality.

    I have been forced to change accreditation as they did not seem to have any staff available to provide technical/software support.

    It is true that standards within DEAs have slipped since introduction. Am afraid that some DEAs are probably actually offended monkeys with the comparison.

  3. Finally CLG do something, so there is still life in their offices

  4. dont be fooled anything will change fast. Pizza men will still do EPCs, accreditation schemes will still undercut their own members and HIP companies will cease trading.

  5. The simple answer is, don’t do an EPC cheap. I won’t do one for less than £57.50, and the truth is that you cannot assess a house, go home and spend time on the computer for £30.00!! Also how many EPC’s do you have to do to have mony available for your CPD, the prices of courses are nothing short of extortion and a money making scheme. I will read a couple of books and declare 10 hours and see what my accreditation scheme says. I will not work every hour god sends just to top up the coffers of my accreditation scheme.

  6. You now have 2 camps. The cheap cheeful and likely to eventually bring court action EPC providers and those that a are reasonably priced for level of time and effort involved.

    If your willing to risk a poor assessment, unreliable service and the need for a court case, go with cheap dodgy providers. If not pay a sensible going rate and get a proper job done.

    Unfortunately, this seems to also apply to accreditation schemes. However, can really believe they wll get taken to court….. mmm ???

  7. How ironic the people given the responsibility of raising EPC standards are infact lowering them and being paid to do so.

  8. Market forces have simply come into play in the EPC market. Energy Assessors need a huge reality check, as they have been spoon-fed work from the HIP companies for too long. You are running a business and need to start putting both time and resource into marketing yourselves. A newly qualified chartered surveyor – starting a surveying practice from scratch would have been delighted to have got work from simply registering on a panel. Instead they are required to work hard to generate business and the same principle needs to be applied to the EPC business.

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