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Quality Assurance of Building Energy Certificates

CLG has issued revised Scheme Operating Requirements (SORs) for producers of Energy Performance Certificates, Display Energy Certificates and Air Conditioning Inspectors. These requirements, effective from 1 July 2012 are to be implemented by ALL Certification Bodies to ensure and maintain consistency.

The new SORs effective from 1 July 2012 (which you can download from the links below as PDFs) set out the audit and associated requirements for Energy Assessors and Air Conditioning Inspectors. This version includes changes to the insurance requirements which are different for the different strands of activity.

    • All assessors must sign up to the attached revised code of conduct -which also describes actions all schemes must take if Code of Conduct failures are revealed during QA activity.
    • All assessors must declare complaints received from customers and others to the scheme or schemes, who will be obliged to investigate.
    • A minimum of 2% of all EPCs & DECs (excluding L5 EPCs – see L5 SOR), will be randomly selected for audit. In addition:

      - All assessors will be subject to a minimum check of 1 EPC or DEC per 6 months (unless no certificates have been lodged within that 6 month period)
      - All new registrants will be assessed within 30 days of joining the scheme, or if no certificates issued within the 30 day period the first certificate will be assessed
    • Assessors must provide the information requested within 3 working weeks of the request or have a clear reason for not complying with the request. Any energy assessor who fails to provide complete information will be suspended by their scheme.
    • Any audit failures i.e. not within the 5% or 10% error boundaries will automatically trigger a requirement for the assessor to withdraw the faulty certificate from the register and to re-lodge a corrected version. It will also trigger a request for a further two certificates to be submitted for audit. There will be a charge for each additional QA check required subject, within reason, to the level of complexity.
    • If either of the additional certificates fails its QA checks the energy assessor must be suspended or asked to complete further training.
    • CLG now requires that every energy assessor must Public Liability Insurance (PLI) as well as Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) cover. Please see the table below for the requirements for each strand.
    • Strand

      Professional Indemnity 

      Public Liability 

      DEC

      £100,000 for each claim

      £1,000,000 per claim

      EPC3/4

      £250,000 for each claim

      £1,000,000 per claim in relation to EPCs for existing buildings.

      EPC 5

      £250,000 for each claim

      **

      Air Conditioning Inspection L3

      £50,000 for each claim

      £1,000,000 per claim

      Air Conditioning Inspection L4

      £500,000 for each claim

      £1,000,000 per claim

      **Although the SOR does not state a requirement here, I believe that this is an oversight and that the requirement is the same as for the other strands, £1,000,000 per claim.

    • Accreditation bodies are also require to impose additional QA audits for other reasons including, excessive use of helpdesks, complaints from clients, high lodgements or "where a scheme forms a view, for whatever reason, that a particular energy assessor may be at high risk of providing an erroneous certificate, the auditing of an energy assessors work should be brought forward the next available certificate, and depending on the level of risk the sampling rate of that persons work should be increased".
    • Energy Assessors can be suspended or removed from the scheme at anytime for failing a QA audit typically for not supplying requested audit information, transgression of the code of conduct, failing to replace an EPC, DEC or Advisory/Recommendation report when requested to do so, or as the result of an upheld complaint, in such cases the notice of suspension or removal from a scheme is required to be sent to all other scheme operators and CLG.
    • We will shortly be sending out bulk requests for QA data by email, please ensure if you are selected you respond in the given time with the correct data as requested in the email, data should be uploaded via CASA - ALL INFORMATION IN ONE ZIP FILE or by post on a CD. We will be auditing these during October.

 

Summary of evidence required for QA audits of EPCs

Existing Buildings

Data file and/or software data collection forms, relating to information used by Energy Assessors to calculate an EPC, which allows Scheme QA assessors to assess the accuracy of the EPC against each stage of data entry associated with SBEM or the DSM

Design Floor plan, elevations, sections etc which allows the EPC to be recalculated.

Site notes - paper or electronic file

Minimum photographic and documentary evidence for existing premises (where practical)

 

  • Ariel view of building from Google maps or similar that clearly identifies the building and site layout to confirm orientation
  • Evidence in support of activities stipulated within zones
  • All external elevations: front, rear and side(s)
  • Construction - i.e. cavity or solid wall with presence or not of insulation, all different types covered
  • Glazing types, including the g-value (EN ISO 410)
  • And shading
  • Roof construction and roof lights
  • For each HVAC system depending on the system type: 'effective heat generator seasonal efficiency', Generator Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and generator Nominal Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER), chiller and generator type, heat recovery system, presence of fans and pumps along with pump power and/or SFP, fuel type and controls (including HVAC manufacturer/make model numbers and any third party evidence of calculations).
  • Heat/cool emitters within zone/areas
  • Controls within zone/areas
  • Lighting within zones and controls
  • Evidence of LZC technologies and relevant data
  • Sub-metering
  • Power factor correction
  • Accredited details
  • Any other key feature of the building or limitation whose presence or absence may affect the EPC rating or which would be required to support any claim made in the report that could be subsequently queried or be the subject of a complaint

Supplementary calculations undertaken by the assessor

Any other evidence required to justify the suppression or inclusion of additional recommendations

Newly Constructed Building other than a Dwelling

Data file, and/or software data collection forms, relating to information used by an Energy Assessor to calculate an EPC, which allows Scheme QA assessors to assess the accuracy of the EPC against each stage of data entry associated with SBEM or the DSM.  The information must allow the Scheme to deduce the software (and version) used to produce the EPC.

AS BUILT CHECKS (Newly Constructed only)

Evidence that the property has been built as per the design:

Details of any supplementary calculations undertaken by the assessor

Any other evidence required to justify the suppression or inclusion of additional recommendations

 

Summary of evidence required for QA audits of DECs

Data file and/or OR Calc (or equivalent for other software) Data Collection forms relating to information used by a DEC assessor to calculate an OR, which allows the Scheme QA assessors to assess the accuracy of the DEC against each data entry associated with OR software.

Floor plan.

Site notes and other documentary evidence - paper or electronic file

 

Minimum photographic and documentary evidence for existing premises (where accessible)

  • Ariel view of building from Google maps or similar that clearly identifies the building its orientation and site boundaries.
  • Evidence of LZC technologies.
  • Presence of metering and sub metering.
  • Any other key features of the building or limitation whose presence or absence may affect the OR rating or which would be required to support any claim made in the Advisory Report that could be subsequently queried or be the subject of a complaint.
  • Evidence required to justify the suppression or inclusion of standard recommendations in the Advisory Report.
  • Any other evidence required to justify the inclusion of a bespoke recommendation in the Advisory Report.
  • Other information to justify approach taken to DEC and Advisory Report production.