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Software and Hardware for Domestic Energy Assessors

Submitted by: MikeC (Admin) on 09-Mar-07 02:53:33 AM

There's no escaping it, the business of Energy Performance Certificates is a business at the mercy of technology. Along with the benefits of higher productivity, decreased duplication of tasks, accuracy and compliancy, come concerns over cost, annual licence fees, ease-of-use, reliability, security, and security of information.

Mobile Devices - things to consider

You can find mobile devices in the hardware section.

At the time of writing, developers are working on mobile RdSAP software for PDAs, e-Pens (electronic pens) and Tablet PCs for use by Domestic Energy Assessors in-the-field. Some of these devices allow energy assessments to be processed and uploaded instantly.

Whilst there are obvious benefits of using mobile technology, it does mean you have to be super-accurate in your reporting as there will be no second chance to proof-read later... and that could prove costly down-the-line!


Several points of note you need to consider here:

  • Theft
  • Security of personal data
  • Physical loss
  • Data loss
  • Damage

You should seriously sit down and formulate a policy that you, your staff, wife or husband, look-to should any of the above (plus other) eventualities occur. There should be a series of events triggered according to what's gone wrong. For instance, if your mobile device connects to a server, your policy should state what actions and changes are necessary to prevent a thief making connection.

So in addition to what might seem the obvious:

  • Where is the telephone number to contact the connection provider? Hopefully, not on the mobile device - or at least not solely on the device!
  • Do you need to inform any of the governing bodies? Who and how do you contact them? You need to know!
  • How much information was on the device? You need to know what information is vulnerable and what action to take. How will you deal with assessments not yet processed?
  • Passwords - which ones need to be changed? It's not uncommon to need several passwords these days; some are more important than others; which ones?

These are just some of the considerations you should think about in formulating your policy. A good policy thinks beyond the immediately obvious to ensure minimum downtime, client protection, business protection as well as employee protection; plus of course, to get the wheels of business rolling again.

Oh, and if you're working alone, how will you contact your next client(s) if their contact details are lost? Print out your appointments or keep a paper-based diary.

Back-up Data

You saw this coming didn't you! Well, as boring as it is, it's likely that as a practicising DEA you'll also be practising under the shadow of the Data Protection Act 1998 - the upshot is: your client's data needs protecting... securely!

... and that means securely away from fire, floods, hurricanes, visiting guests, kids, cats and angry spouses (or employees)!

Have a back-up policy and stick to it. Should anything bad happen, you'll know exactly what is at risk and how much "back-tracking" you need to do in order to get back up to speed.

Most of you reading this will ignore it thinking you'll cope and it won't be a drama. Good luck - best bookmark this page 'cos you won't want to go through it twice.

Posts: 1
eTech Smart EPC
Reply #1 on : Sat January 05, 2008, 20:18:06
eTech Solutions has a mobile PDA solution which as described in your post allows you to submit the data and get the SAP rating while on site.

I see you mentioned in the article that you need to be super-acurate as there is no second chance to correct data, this is not the case with the etech system, as you can get your SAP rating without marking the survey complete, which then gives you the oportunity to reflect on your findings later, and then mark complete when satisfied.

The etch pda system also generates a full site note document with photo evidence (taken with the pda) taking the hard work out of putting everything together. Etech also store your data for 15 years so that is another benifit.

Posts: 233
Back Up
Reply #2 on : Mon November 24, 2008, 23:55:54
With the average fee that a DEA gets now falling below £40 per case if taken from a panel provider, you may question why bother with backing anything up? - it'll be cheaper to get another report done!

I'm joking as I appreciate it is the DPA data that is really the issue but it is an interesting aspect - keeping files for 15 years - longer than the lifetime of the report - what a nonsense.

I am a Chartered Surveyor and Estate Agent and don't need as much storage capacity as I do as a DEA for my records and compliance. Don't need a criminal record check either. Too much red tape (typical of a Government led process) or the way ahead?

Posts: 233
EPC pricing
Reply #3 on : Fri September 11, 2009, 19:48:12
i am a DEA and CEA , today an estate agent told me that he can get an EPC for £15-00 , and i thought its a joke to spend so much money to train up for DEA and you earn £15-00 per EPC its radiculas , some organistaion must set a standard fee for EPC as its done for comercial which is done per sq Meter

Posts: 233
EPC Pricing
Reply #4 on : Tue November 16, 2010, 17:05:10
Yes, I would agree with Mr Dade. I too am a DEA just starting out and I've found that if you get an EPC done through an estate agent it can cost perhaps upward of £100. They often use a panel who pays the assessor perhaps less than £30. There are other EPC provider companies offering an EPC for as little as £35, the assessor they use (or abuse) will end up working for less than the Goverment minimum hourly rate. I am regreting going to all the time and expense of training.
Understandable that some assessors feel there is no incentive to do the job properly and this must put in doubt the credibility of the whole system. Perhaps it's all intended to reduce the number of practicing Assessors in a non-active property market? At the last esimate there were at least twice as many as are needed.
I would agree with calls for standard pricing based on property area. This would give credibility back to the whole EPC system and allow an assessor to earn at least a modest living.

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Domestic Energy Assessors

Laptop depicting the technology A look at the software and hardware devices for Domestic Energy Assessors that have been developed to enhance productivity and accuracy.


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