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.
Presentations from the Conference
The Property Energy Professionals Association (PEPA), whose members accredit all energy assessors in the UK, has today issued its Manifesto for the future use of property energy information and advice. The Manifesto sets out PEPA policy for the next five years and also how it will aim to achieve its desired policy outcomes.
Stephen O’Hara, Chairman of PEPA said:
‘with climate change becoming such a dominant global issue, it is vital that every opportunity is taken to reduce carbon emissions. By making our buildings as energy efficient as possible we reduce the demand for fuel, saving both carbon and cost, delivering householders reduced energy bills and increased comfort, and making our economy more productive. Using energy information is fundamental to improving energy efficiency, and PEPA is in a unique position to help Government, businesses and consumers to achieve this through its members and the assessors that they regulate.’
The Manifesto speaks not only about optimising standards in the provision of energy information, but also about extending the remit of assessors to provide energy advice.
Stephen commented further
‘the optimal way of deriving real value from energy information is to overlay it with quality and meaningful advice on how best to achieve improved efficiency and of course, save money and reduce carbon emissions. PEPA has worked with Trustmark on introducing a framework for upskilling energy assessors to fulfil this vital role, and assessor upskilling is now taking place. Property owners and occupiers will soon benefit from receiving expert advice from the energy assessor community’
PEPA will seek close engagement with the incoming Government once the General Election on 12th December has concluded, as well as stakeholders across the board.