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Home Energy Advisors v Domestic Energy Assessors

Submitted by: MikeC (Admin) on 04-Jul-09 03:55:08 PM

There are several angles one could choose to report this news (or is it merely headline-grabbing PR? Time will tell I suppose), so I’ll just let it fall on the page.

So, just two days into the month (July), and a new organisation launches: the Association of Property and Energy Professionals (APEP) (Can’t link to a website ‘cos there isn’t one). 

It purports to ‘provide organisations involved in energy and condition reporting with a collective voice and stronger lobbying power’.

[Emphasis mine – keep it in mind for a sec]

This is where I could fork-off into a rant about what many will surely start to conclude is becoming another parasitical gravy-train leeching off this industry (how many rep orgs are there now?)

Either that (unlikely realistically ‘cos there’s no money in it), or it’s an ego/power-trip thing – you decide, I must crack on.

So yes, on the second day of this month – the month APEP launched - it somehow managed to make itself known to the wider world via the lips of Lord Redesdale, no less, during Thursday’s House of Lords debate on Energy Performance Certificates - that's Thurs the second day of July, BTW.

Way to go, have to say. Many DEAs and existing representative bodies have been lobbying Govt. for two years now, but few have managed such a feat.

Judicial review

In its press release, APEP says it is "seeking a judicial review into the recent changes announced to the Government’s Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT)." Adding that, "‘…in light of the newly created Home Energy Advisor role, the Government has completely by-passed Domestic Energy Assessors (DEAs), who are already trained and qualified to give homeowners advice on improving the energy efficiency of their homes."

Well, that’s technically not correct: DEAs are not qualified to advise homeowners, they just present the recommendations thrown-out from the EPC calculations.

I’ll cut to the chase and (I hope, effectively) summarise what APEP is driving at: Basically, it is miffed about the Govt dropping, this week, the DipDEA qualification as a pre-requisite route to becoming a Home Energy Advisor - as alluded to here several weeks ago (see Home Energy Adviser NOS Dropped, Apparently).

(I have been too busy to report this latest Govt side-step, so I will refer you to Linn Rafferty’s summary on her website: Government publishes its response to CESP and CERT uplift Consultations.)

APEP goes on to complain:

The Government has pulled the rug from underneath the feet of the nation’s 10,000 plus DEAs. It has clearly ignored industry feedback obtained during its recent consultation paper: Heat and Energy Saving Strategy and instead, has opted to plough ahead with the creation of a new role, the Home Energy Advisor – a costly and totally unnecessary duplication of the existing job, already being carried out by DEAs.

Whilst I share some of the crowd-pleasing oratory (except it was written), the HEA was always slated as a new role, and as mentioned above, the role of a DEA is not the same as the HEA.

Now if the conversation was about making them the same, well that’s a different story - one leading to an unwanted delay (probably).

British Gas

Lord Redesdale also mentioned British Gas, as does APEP’s press release, which says:

The announcement from British Gas today, that it plans to create 2,600 new ‘green’ jobs is clear evidence that DEAs are being totally bypassed. The Government cannot allow this to happen. We are calling on the Department of Energy and Climate Change to review its plans for the new Home Energy Advisor role or face a judicial review into why it has effectively created a new DEA profession and is now choosing to take away the very work which these people are trained and qualified to do.

Except, in the context of BG's announcement, it is in no way “clear evidence that DEAs are being totally bypassed” at all – and no evidence is even offered.

So I tracked down BG’s official press release (British Gas to create 2,600 “green” jobs to roll out smart meters), which does say:

As well as installing smart meters, they will be able to:

  • Advise customers on the range of tariffs available - such as time-of-use tariffs, which reward customers for using energy at off-peak times
  • Conduct energy efficiency audits of customers' homes
  • Give tailored advice on measures that could cut energy use, such as insulation
  • Help customers learn about ways of generating their own energy
  • Install and maintain the low-carbon microgeneration technologies of the future


The 2,600 smart metering jobs are in addition to the 1,500 skilled green jobs British Gas announced in February this year; these roles, which will be filled over the next two years, include: wind farm designers, energy efficiency surveyors and engineers.

[Emphasis mine] 

Which might leave one nervous, but as we have seen before, just because BG (as well as the Energy Saving Trust and others) offer ‘energy efficiency audits’, they're not EPCs.

So before loosing-off mortar shells with JRs, it might be an idea to establish exactly what BG intends; although I do grant you, there is probably nothing to stop BG conducting the service. And it could even be argued, under its CERT obligations, they are better placed to deliver it; but that’s still placing the cart before the horse.

Who are APEP and what about that ‘collective voice’?

I heard a rumour the other day that AHIPP is worried about the Tories winning the next election and scrapping HIPs - effectively wiping it out. 

My source told me it might be looking to branch into representing energy assessors as a road to survival - It has certainly been making inroads into the energy arena in recent months, what with its move towards gathering insulation and G-Rated boiler leads.

So what’s interesting about APEP is the name of one of its founders: Lesley Sorridimi, who serves on the board of AHIPP, and is also behind, a sister company to the often-maligned training arm, Property Professionals (formerly HIT). So maybe there’s some truth to the rumour.

And finally, the ‘collective voice’ bit: Ahem, yes... how many members, APEP?

Is it not worrying when an unelected Lord speaks to the heart of Govt, apparently on behalf of an organisation that no one hitherto had heard of, and that only launched within the previous 24 hours?

What’s going on there then?

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Posts: 6
Reply #1 on : Sat July 04, 2009, 22:12:08
I am not surprised by this move. It is getting decidedly tacky & this trade body appears to be a cynical tactical ploy. It appears that AHIPP are involved & the name change from HIT to Property Professionals hides the worst excesses of HIT (their latest advert in my local press remains misleading).
There are some names that cannot be changed & thank you Mike for throwing light on this.

Posts: 6
Reply #2 on : Sun July 05, 2009, 00:47:44
When attending one of the lucrative job opportunities offered by HIPHIPhooray in Birmingham in their Government Approved Training Faculties pre the launch of the HIP. One of their many high ranking Sales/Recruiting Directors (sorry Spive) advised me that their Organisation was well positioned within this very lucrative market as they had managed to recruit a former high ranking female Civil Servant to their Board who had been responsible for much of the input for the implementation of the Home Information Pack. Could this person be the same person mentioned above? It could explain how this un-heard of organisation was able to Lobby so easily a member of the Lords. In this county it’s still “Who you Know” not “What you Know” that gets you anywhere.

Posts: 6
Re: Home Energy Advisors v Domestic Energy Assessors
Reply #3 on : Thu July 09, 2009, 21:28:18
I really don't see what the big hullabaloo is about, this was on the cards from the very beginning.

The Govt. created the DEA role when there was no need, there were enough qualified HIs/HIs almost qualified to undertake the required EPC in a full market so what made anyone think that they wouldn't do the same to DEAs?

Also, whats to say that British Gas don't employ their 2600 requirement straight from the DEA ranks that are currently sitting there counting paper-clips and squabbling over £30 EPCs? It would make commercial & operational sense for them to do so [providing they don't have 2600 redundancies pending and would prefer to reallocate their manpower?] as the DEAs they would be employing would "potentially" be more experienced that Joe Public applying from the job centre.

There is no getting away from the fact that the entire HIP, EPC industry and anything remotely related to it will become a killing field. To quote Black sabbath' War Pigs "Generals in their masses [the Govt.], evil minds that plot destruction [large corporates, panels, training providers and any other leaches that fit in to that category], treating people just like pawns in chess [DEAs and HIs]".

It's all an ill-fated attempt at appeasing Brussels, the quicker a proper government that has some balls gets in power [not politically motivated by the way, I don't care who is in as long as they say what they do and do what they say] and kick the large corporate bullies, panels, training providers etc. in to shape, the better for all of us and I don't just mean DEAs and HIs, I mean as a country as a whole.

Anyway, back to Black Sabbath' War Pigs, if you want the lyrics:

Generals gathered in their masses
Just like witches at black masses
Evil minds that plot destruction
Sorcerers of death's construction
In the fields are bodies burning
As the war machine keeps turning
Death and hatred to mankind
Poisoning their brainwashed minds, oh lord yeah
Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight
They leave that all to the poor
Time will tell on their power minds
Making war just for fun
Treating people just like pawns in chess
Wait til the judgement day comes
Now in darkness world stops turning
As you hear the bodies burning
No more warpigs have the power
And as God has struck the hour
Day of judgement, God is calling
On their knees the warpigs crawling
Begging mercy for their sins
Satan laughing spreads his wings, oh lord yeah
Posts: 1
Re: Home Energy Advisors v Domestic Energy Assessors
Reply #4 on : Fri July 10, 2009, 20:43:48
Ahh, you were doing well until the Black Sabbath bit, Dean ;)

Posts: 6
Re: Home Energy Advisors v Domestic Energy Assessors
Reply #5 on : Tue July 14, 2009, 16:56:34

Posts: 6
Reply #6 on : Mon July 20, 2009, 08:04:25
The 2600 jobs are fitting smart meters NOT giving advice. Is this what DEA's want from a representative body. A body that only wants to represent the industry when it's in their (TP), interests to do so?

There is NO WAY any DEA would have made money form being a HEA. The job is completely separate from insulation advice and the majority of people needing this help are living in social housing or solid walled properties.

Yo know your swimming against the tide when at last you have a voice only to find they have no interest whatsoever in the DEA.

Posts: 6
B Gas Energy Experts
Reply #7 on : Fri July 24, 2009, 16:26:54
I am working as a British gas Energy Expert giving advise on insulation and enrgy saving .
Part of the criteria for the job was a DEA qualification.
The reason I work for British Gas is the lack of work for Domestic Energy Assessors with Estate Agents and organisations using large HIP provider companies to carry out the EPC work.
There definately are too many Energy Assessors and the only people profiting from this venture are the companies providing the courses and large HIP providing companies.
The Government should regulate the training companies more who still advertise the courses as a way to earn a living working for yourself


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