The Property Energy Professionals Association (PEPA) has welcomed the Government advice on meeting the regulatory requirement to secure a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) on marketing a property for sale or rent during the Coronavirus outbreak. The Advice relates to commercial as well residential properties.
The legal requirement to obtain an EPC before selling or letting a property remains in place, so it is important that both those who are commissioning an EPC and the Energy Assessors who produce them are aware of the Government’s advice in these difficult times. The health and wellbeing of all parties is of prime concern for PEPA, its members and the Assessors they serve.
Andrew Parkin, PEPA Chairman said: “We welcome the Government Advice on the production of EPCs in these difficult times and it is reassuring that the guidance PEPA had already provided for its members, and for Energy Assessors, dovetails with the Advice which has now been published. With the property market continuing to operate, and EPCs being integral to the process of selling and renting properties, it is really important that Assessors are clear about what is expected of them.”
Parkin added “Of course, the number of EPCs being produced is a fraction of what they were just a few weeks ago, and many assessors are already feeling the serious financial impact of lower volumes, alongside all other parties involved in the property market. As many operate through small company structures, we have written to the Chancellor asking that the Government support for the self-employed is extended to cover the dividends as well as wages which provide income to those affected”.
PEPA has provided a special Resource Kit for Energy Assessors which is available here: https://www.pepassociation.org/2020/04/02/covid-19-resource-kit/
Dear Energy Assessors,
Like everyone, PEPA members have been busy gathering as much information as possible to determine the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We have taken advice from trusted sources, to identify how we best protect our communities and our colleagues.
Each PEPA members scheme will have their own plan, addressing their own issues, but as a group we are committed to protect the health of our colleagues and members, whilst supporting energy assessors through this difficult time by:
- Maintaining core systems to ensure that energy certificates can continue to be lodged
- Maintaining a minimum level of technical support
- Applying pragmatism with regards audit requests to cater for assessors unable to work normally
PEPA and the accreditation schemes will do all we can to continue to support you, but we do urge you to look after yourselves and to follow the latest government guidance. We encourage active engagement between assessors and schemes and please do let schemes know if there are any circumstances about which you feel you should make them aware (for example, being stuck in a foreign country, or perhaps self-isolating etc).
PEPA also advises that you take all necessary precautions when visiting sites, such as wearing disposable gloves, reducing unnecessary contact with people (such as handshakes), carrying around hand sanitisers or, if possible, arranging to work in vacated premises. This we hope will help to keep you safe, as well as put the minds of your clients at ease.
If you have any worries or concerns, please contact your accreditation scheme.
Against the very uncertain backdrop created by the spread of the COVID-19 virus, PEPA has moved forward with contingency arrangements to continue providing a service to all our clients.
Although we will endeavour to maintain working from our Thornby office to the extent that is possible, the nature of our business allows all team members to work from home in need. We will institute home working for our team members as appropriate to their individual circumstances.
The wellbeing of our people is paramount to us and should any of our team members contract the virus they will of course be asked to take whatever time is necessary to recover fully. It is therefore possible that the Associate who usually takes care of you may be unavailable for a period of time, and should that be the case we will provide support from other team members.
We will endeavour to answer telephone calls as normal, but you may not be able to access your usual team member at first point of contact. Should this be the case we will take a message and arrange for you to be called back the same day.
We seek your patience and forbearance in these difficult times, but please be assured we will do all that we can to provide you with a service that is ‘business as usual’
As I look back on what was the 3rd Annual PEPA conference, my overriding takeaway was that it was a very uplifting and positive experience. A call to action even!
We started the day setting the scene, looking back at a positive 2019 and what has been achieved by the industry. In my keynote, I called out government to give our industry and the energy efficiency sector the certainty it needs to grow and support government in pursuing and meeting its targets. I feel we all need to become more politically aware, and dare I say it, more politically active. For example, PEPA would like all energy assessors and companies to lend their support to Lord Foster of Bath, whose Domestic Energy Performance Bill, if put into statute, will make it law that all properties will need to achieve an EPC rating of C by 2035. We should all support this bill and PEPA schemes will be writing to their members to encourage them to do so, via their local MP.
We heard some fantastic presentations from PEPA members about how the industry will change in 2020; we covered the upcoming Part L and F of the Building Regulations, how PEPA aims to hold government to account on poor DEC compliance and enforcement, along with Domestic and Non-Domestic Audit updates. The new format of splitting into focussed workshops was absolutely the right way to run the day, and one that will be replicated next year.
We had excellent speeches from the likes of Andrew Warren (BEEF), who represents the Energy Efficiency Industry as a whole and from Phil Mason (TrustMark) on how PAS 2035 can improve the Retrofit Industry, with Energy Assessment at its core. Delegates also received a very helpful and informative update from Dean Wanless (MHCLG) on what a new register can do for our industry and the consumer, and an impassioned speech by Andrej Miller of BEIS whose vision for improving standards in ECO3 and beyond using PAS 2035 was inspiring.
Clearly 2020 and 2021 are going to be big years for our industry. We need to pull in the same direction to realise what we have been striving for since 2007. A thriving, growing, achieving industry that can rely on solid policy from government. Quality and continuous improvement must be at the core of what we do, and the EPC will need to evolve as well.
So, if you attended Conference 2020, thank you for coming. I hope you enjoyed the day and I hope to see you at our 2021 Conference. If you would like to read the presentations again, they are available on the PEPA website (https://www.pepassociation.org/2020/03/03/pepa-conference-2020/).
Please do support Lord Foster’s Bill. Together we can achieve so much.