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Tight deadline means high demand

Submitted by: MikeC (Admin) on 06-Jul-08 09:16:29 PM

Many Domestic Energy Assessors (DEAs) are understandably nervous of claims made by training providers, blaming them, in part, for the chronic oversupply of DEAs chasing fewer instructions in a 'credit-crunched' housing market.

This has led some to believe that their own chances of survival lie in less crowded pastures, meaning more time and expense in training for new qualifications. The Savassi building

But which market sector?

[Note: this is by no means a recommendation. Clearly, you must conduct your own due-diligence]

In early May, figures from the Office of National Statistics revealed only one growing construction sector: public infrastructure and non-housing (such as hospitals and Government buildings etc.), which grew by 11% and 26% respectively (More: New Build Blues for New Energy Assessors).

In the private sector, both commercial and new-build housing projects are plummeting.

It should be noted, though, that volumes in the private sector are higher, so increased activity in the public sector does not necessarily equate to higher overall volume.

Display Energy Certificate (DECs) - Public buildings

Nevertheless, the CLG has set tough targets that require all public buildings and institutes with a 'useful' floor area (trafficked by members of the public) of more than 1000m² to prominently display a Display Energy Certificate (DEC) by - that's right, by - October 1st 2008.

Immediate market demand

Stroma, in their press release celebrating the first ever DEC lodged by one of their accredited assessors back in May, estimated 43,000 DECs will be needed by that date.

CIBSE (Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers), is claiming 40,000 DECs in its recent news release, Energy Assessors in demand as deadline approaches. It also believes another 10,000 a month will be required thereafter too.

Although neither of the accreditation schemes - both of which offer training in this field it has to be said - reveal how those figures are estimated, they are close enough to suggest a ballpark figure.

So if we settle for 40,000 DECs by October 1st, let's look at a list of factors to consider:

  • Stroma only just recently reported the first ever DEC lodged on May 21st 08;
  • an energy assessment on a public building is no 40 minute exercise meaning a slower turnover of assessments;
  • no one is quite sure what fees to charge yet;
  • barrier to entry: the very nature of the training and qualification will inevitably present barriers to entry

Tying all that together, not only does it suggest an inherent urgency, it also suggests the deadline is under considerable pressure.

What's more, the law requires those same public buildings to be reassessed each year - an attractive proposition for those who think getting in from the start is important.


Both organisations have also been bullish: on the latest DEA podcast with Stroma Technical Director, Neil Bleakley, said demand was strong, with enquiries even coming in from owners of buildings that don't require a DEC. CIBSE claims 'at least a dozen' DECs are required for each enquiry.

Whether you believe it's sales talk to prise away more of your money on training courses is for you to decide but with the October deadline less than three months away, someone's phone must be ringing.

A tricky number

Yes, the tricky question you will not find a simple answer to is: how many assessors are needed?

The reason, as Neil Bleakley pointed out on the podcast, is the difficulty in estimating how many data gatherers will be employed.

Yes, the data gatherers!

The CLG has published a DEC guidance which might be useful for those wanting to learn more about what's involved.

Get listed on the DEA locater - FREE!

Posts: 2
Re: Tight deadline means high demand
Reply #1 on : Tue July 08, 2008, 15:54:25
I have for some time been seeking information from DCLG in respect of the numbers of Non Domestic Energy Assessors. Yesterday I received a response to my questions. According to DCLG there are sufficient accredited for phase 1 (10,000m2) "ample" for phase 2 (2,500m2) and a "large number" in training for phase 3 implimentation in October. Clearly these responses are of absolutely no value at all.

To the question How many NDEA's was it originally anticipated would be required for full October implimentation. The answer is - "We have commissioned Independent Economists to re visit this question..." Does this mean they fear they have over estimated the number needed OR they have under estimated the numbers needed to enable October 1st implimentation. Which ever it might be I do not think it bodes well for NDEA's and the commercial property industry.
Posts: 2
Re: Tight deadline means high demand
Reply #2 on : Mon July 14, 2008, 14:38:40
Interesting John. The industry walks on shifting sands.

Thanks for sharing.

Posts: 2
Re: Tight deadline means high demand
Reply #3 on : Wed August 13, 2008, 13:59:39
Update to my July 8th post.
The same day I submitted my post I sent a Freedom of Information Act request to CLG. There were 5 questions namely. How many non dom assessors did CLG estimate would be needed for October 1st, How many were in Training, How many were Qualified, How many were Accredited and How many DEC's would be needed annually. Only the last question was answered (around 42,500). Answers to the other questions were refused because "At this time,the harm that may be caused to the success of the project, which is in the public interest, outweighs the general public of disclosure."

I find it hard to comprehend why it is against the public interest to provide information about a project that is in the public interest!! My best guess is that yet again CLG have fluffed it and that insufficient Accredited assessors will be available for a full October 1st launch. If I'm right and the launch is postponed or introduced in stages then this will cause much more harm to the project than answering my questions ever could. Regretably its the Energy Assessment and Commercial Property Industries that will bear the costs of CLG's lack of forethought and planning.
Posts: 2
Re: Tight deadline means high demand
Reply #4 on : Thu August 14, 2008, 00:46:50
A marked contrast to your earlier comment, John. They've already announced a transitionary watered down DEC for the first year... maybe that won't be enough!

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