Property federation says it is not aware of any trained assessors for delayed programme

A shortage of qualified inspectors is threatening to plunge the introduction of energy performance certificates into chaos, industry experts have warned this week.

In a situation reminiscent of the implementation of home information packs (Hips), the British Property Federation (BPF) said there would not be enough inspectors to support a roll-out of the certificates, which require a survey of energy performance of buildings when they are built, sold or rented.

It is understood that the qualifications needed for commercial sector assessors were only finalised in September. For residential schemes it was anticipated that some Hips assessors would carry out inspections, but with the delays to the Hips programme many candidates have abandoned the occupation.

The BPF said it was unaware of any assessors able to undertake the work, although many of its members were waiting to prepare their schemes for the initiative.

This caution comes as a further blow to the programme after a six-month delay was revealed last week by The communities department revealed that energy certificates will now not be required for most public and commercial buildings until mid to late 2008. They were originally due to be made compulsory next April.

The BPF said it may still be difficult to meet the revised schedule. Michael Chambers, BPF director for regeneration, said: “The deadlines remain tight, particularly for companies with large portfolios.”

Although the delay relates to commercial buildings, the BPF has warned that the residential sector may be worst hit. Ian Fletcher, director for residential policy, said: “With many people moving in the rented sector there will be a huge demand in 2008.”