New accreditation body for inspectors who check buildings meet energy performance certificates standards

Certification body Building Engineering Services Competence Accreditation has won government approval to accredit energy assessors.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has approved the body, a subsidiary of trade association the Heating and Ventilating Contractors’ Association (HVCA), to accredit inspectors needed to carry out checks under new energy performance regulations.

Guidance says owners of all buildings must display a current energy performance certificate (EPC) from April.

Under the Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007, all commercial buildings must have a current EPC for handover, construction, sale or rental.

Air conditioning systems with a cooling capacity of 12kW or more must be inspected to improve energy efficiency.

“Publicly owned and publicly accessed” premises must have a display energy certification (DEC) to show the energy usage of the building.

Checks can only be done by members of a government-approved accreditation scheme and the HVCA said it expected a “steady stream” of enquiries in the next few months.

Bob Towse, HVCA head of technical and safety, said: “The HVCA believes that there are many skilled individuals within its member firms who are ideally qualified to undertake these new mandatory inspections and assessments.”

Building Engineering Services Competence Accreditation was established in 2006 to operate a competent persons scheme for residential and non-residential heating, and non-residential ventilation and air conditioning in England and Wales. Similar schemes are planned for Scotland and Northern Ireland.