Is your Domestic Energy Assessment being carried out correctly?

So as a selling home owner or a landlord you will have come across the need to have an Energy Performance Certificate and had a domestic energy assessment carried out. This involves a visual inspection on the property and generates a report based on the data collected on site by the domestic energy assessor (DEA).

It is easy to just sit back and let DEAs get on with their jobs and the majority will do a professional assessment as required by their Accrediting bodies. As with any industry, there will be those who cut corners or don’t do a full job. In these cases the EPC will not be as accurate as it could be.

Here are eight tips for ensuring your domestic energy assessor (DEA) does a thorough job of the EPC.

1.If you have a question, please ask.

A qualified assessor will always be happy to answer any question or aspect of the process that you ask about. The answers should explain how the EPC works, how the rating system works, and why they are looking at what they are. If you are not sure, always ask. If you have any doubts about your assessor at all, ask to see their Identity Cards and verify the assessor and their accreditation with their accrediting body.

2. Did the Energy Assessor look in the loft?

If there is an accessible loft space then the Assessor must look into the loft to check the level of insulation. Some buildings may have several loft spaces and these should all be checked. If the assessor hasn’t looked or checked, then ask why they haven’t.

3. Did the DEA measure the property?

The Assessor is required to take measurements. The Assessor can measure up internally or externally as required, but also should take room height measurements too.

4. Did the Energy Assessor take photographs of the building?

The Assessor is required to take photographic evidence of the pertinent features that they see, such as heating system, fire places, building construction. If they do not, then ask why they haven’t. This is required for audit purposes.

5. Did the Assessor check the heating system?

The heating system is the key component of the Energy Performance Certificate. If the assessor has not checked it and made notes as the type and model, as well as whether there are programmers, room temperature thermostats and thermostatic radiator valves. If there is a hot water tank, did the Assessor measure it?

6. Did the DEA check the Building externally?

The Assessor should still check the building externally, even if they took all the measurements internally. This assessment is to check the construction, look for signs of insulation, to check the roof and to look for solar panels.

7. Did the DEA check every room of the building?

The Assessor should check every room of the building and look into each space. Outbuildings such as detached sheds and garages, as long as they are not heated, do not form part of the EPC. However, the Assessor should check each area of the actual building.

8. Did the Assessor check the Gas meter/Electric Meter/Oil Tank?

The Assessor should check and photograph these as part of the EPC.

As long as the Domestic EnergyAssessor fulfils the above criteria then there is no reason why the data that is collected on site will not be correct, representing accurately the building, which will present the correct rating on the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

There is no reason to suspect that any Domestic EnergyAssessor would be unprofessional on site and these represent guidelines for the homeowner or landlord as to what to expect. If you have any doubts, you should always ask the Assessor first and foremost. If you remain unsatisfied then contact the Assessor’s accrediting body.

Written by Symon Silvester

7 Responses to “Is your Domestic Energy Assessment being carried out correctly?”

  1. John Oldfield Says:

    Why post this blog? Exactly the same questions should be asked of a Commercial Assessor. You imply some sort of superiority over a DEA, based on no grounds whatsoever. Many DEA’s are also NDEA’s, or are in training, where does that leave your theory?
    As with any other industry, there will be a proportion of NDEA’s who will also cut corners!

  2. Mike Duxbury Says:

    As a DEA working in S.Wales, I totally agree that Homeowners and Landlords should be absolutely confident that the EPC is carried out rigorously and professionally and any questions are welcome.

    I also believe that the Government and other professional working in this sector should expend more effort in promoting the benefit and need for EPCs to the tenant so that they can request to see them. My experience is that few Tenants know anything about them, and that Landlords will avoid commissioning them if they can get away with it- they also are often not aware of the legal requirements for EPCs and Trading Standards are not pursuing those who do not commission and Tenants are not reporting this shortfall.

  3. admin Says:

    Hi John,

    The intention of the post was to raise awareness of what a DEA should be doing. In the future we may possibly write an article related to a commercial assessment.

    We have been concerned about recent reports we have read where it has been reported that a small number of assessors have not carried out the assessment correctly. For eg Not looking in the loft space when accessible and one company not even carrying out a site visit. They were promoting the client completing a questionnaire and an EPC was produced from these details.

    Am sure you would agree this type of practice is not helpful to the industry. With more awareness of the DEA role comes more understanding and respect towards the process.

  4. Mike Crompton Says:

    This is the area that CLG need to get tough on – it is the requirement that the acreditation bodies satisfactorily audit the reports submitted by their members.
    It is obviously not happening enough.
    Only when the public are assured that action is taken against those who choose to short cut the assessment process will this Industry gain any respect – not just with the public but with other professionals within the same sector & outside.

  5. Lawrence Hooper Says:

    Just for information purposes, Commercial Energy Assessment is much harder than Domestic. I have completed both courses and it is the level of detail and data input that makes the commercial side far more labour intensive.
    I read in an NHER bulletin that around 80% of properties (not sure if that’s domestic/commercial or both) are being advertised without an EPC.
    I hope that the CLG clamp down on this otherwise it will render all of the training that I have undertaken pointless, not to mention undermine the low carbon goal of the current government.

  6. sara Says:

    Hi Admin,
    My ladlord just had an energy assesment surveyor at my house even though he had assured me that the property would continue be available for rent for a good while to come. Now I am concerned. The house had already been the subject of an energy efficiency grant, so what could be his motive?
    Grateful for your advice,
    sara.

  7. Darrick Behrens Says:

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