Not a single specialist energy assessor had qualified in time for the launch of EPCs

Not a single specialist energy assessor had qualified in time for the launch of energy performance certificates for new housing this week.

The specialists, known as domestic energy assessors (DEAs), claim the government has mismanaged their training, giving architects and surveyors a headstart in offering EPCs.

Paul Staley

Although a recent ruling found that architects and surveyors could issue EPCs automatically, DEAs need to undergo a three-month training process.

However, the contents of the course were only finalised by the Award Body for the Built Environment, the government body that accredits assessors, on 1 February, and colleges only began teaching the course two or three weeks ago. This left the assessors unable to start work when EPCs were introduced.

Paul Staley, director of ERS, a firm that issues EPCs, said assessors were being treated unfairly. He said: “The ruling that architects and contractors won’t need further training to produce EPCs has marginalised DEAs.

The government needs to be held fully responsible. It’s laughable.

Paul Staley, ERS

“The final nail in the coffin is that not a single DEA is ready to undertake this work. It’s a mess the communities department needs to be held fully responsible for. It’s laughable.”

The four-unit qualification to become an “on-construction DEA” needs 300 hours of study and the production of five case studies, which would take a candidate an estimated three months. Training costs between £5,000 and £7,000.

Last month, Building reported that many of the UK’s 6,467 DEAs would earn £10,000 a year or less.

A communities department spokesperson said it had never encouraged people to do the qualification as it knew enough practitioners were accredited.

EPCs are required to demonstrate the energy efficiency of new-build homes.