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Commercial Energy Assessor

Source of Information: Next Step / DirectGov / Careers Advice Service

Commercial Energy Assessor

The Work

As a commercial energy assessor (CEA) or non-domestic energy assessor, you would test the energy efficiency of non-domestic buildings and produce Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs). EPCs are reports showing energy efficiency and carbon dioxide ratings and recommendations on how these could be improved.

You would carry out detailed inspections of properties including:

  • collecting information on their age, number of storeys and building type
  • measuring each room
  • identifying details of heating systems
  • collecting details of windows
  • entering the information into a computer software programme, which will produce an energy efficiency rating and an EPC.

The CEA role was created by the requirement for an EPC on the construction, sale or rent of all non-domestic buildings from 1 October 2008.

Hours and Environment

You could choose to work full- or part-time. You may need to carry out inspections in the evenings or at weekends to suit your clients. As a self-employed CEA you would be able to arrange your working hours according to your workload.

Skills and Interests

  • an understanding of the laws surrounding the role
  • IT skills for using computer software to produce the EPC
  • the ability to explain the contents of the EPC clearly to clients
  • the ability to make good working relationships with a wide range of people
  • good observational skills
  • the ability to take accurate measurements
  • good time management skills
  • a thorough, methodical and consistent approach
  • the ability to keep legible, complete and accurate records
  • knowledge of construction methods, construction materials and heating systems.

Entry

To work as a CEA you must belong to an approved accreditation scheme. These schemes control the quality of energy assessments and reports by making sure assessors have appropriate skills.

You can gain accreditation in two ways:

  • by qualification (if you are new to the commercial building sector)
  • by APEL (accreditation of prior experiential learning) if you already have commercial building experience.

Qualification route
If you are new to this type of work you would need the Level 3 Diploma in Non Domestic Energy Assessment. This involves completing at least five assessed EPCs and taking a multiple choice exam.

All the knowledge and skills you would need to gain the Diploma are set out in the National Occupational Standards for CEAs on the Asset Skills Energy Assessors website.

At present the Diploma in Non Domestic Energy Assessment is provided by the Awarding Body for the Built Environment (ABBE) and City & Guilds (C & G). They can advise you on finding suitable training so that you can complete the Diploma.

It is important that you assess the business opportunities in your area before making any commitment to a career in this field.

Once you have gained the Diploma you will be able to apply for accreditation to work as a level 3 CEA, qualified to carry out assessments on smaller, naturally ventilated non-domestic buildings. You will not be qualified to assess new buildings. See the Further Training section below for details of developing your skills.

Level 3 and 4 Diplomas in Air Conditioning Inspection are currently being developed. See the Communities and Local  Government (CLG) website for details.

APEL route
You may be able to become accredited through the APEL route if you:

  • are already an experienced practitioner such as a building services engineer, surveyor or energy rating specialist
  • have experience of producing reports using SBEM (Simplified Building Energy Model) software
  • can show that you meet the National Occupational Standards for CEAs.

Depending on the extent of your experience, you could be accredited as a CEA at level 3 (assessing simple buildings) or level 4 (carrying out assessments on new buildings and on more complex larger buildings with substantial air-conditioning systems).

If you have substanial experience and already use DSM (Dynamic Simulation Modeling) software, you may be able to be accredited at level 5, carrying out EPCs for very complex buildings, including those with large amounts of glass).

You should check with the accreditation schemes (see below) for advice.

Accreditation
Visit the CLG website for details of approved accreditation schemes.

As a CEA you would normally need a driving licence as your work would involve travelling to different locations to carry out inspections.

Training

As an accredited CEA, you will be expected to keep your skills and knowledge up to date by doing a set minimum number of hours learning.

As a level 3 CEA you could take further training to gain the Level 4 Diploma in Non Domestic Energy Assessment and become a level 4 CEA, able to carry out assessments on more complex larger buildings with substantial air-conditioning systems. See the ABBE and City & Guilds (C & G) websites for details.

Alternatively you could train to produce EPCs for other types of property. See the CLG website for details.

Opportunities

EPCs have been required for all non-domestic buildings on construction, sale or rent since October 2008.

It is important that you assess the business opportunities in your area before making any commitment to a career in this field.

Annual Income

As this is a new role, there are no available figures for salaries.

Charges for EPCs will depend on the size and complexity of the property.

Further information

If you would like to discuss your career options with a learning advisor at the Careers Advice Service advice line, call 0800 100 900 or use our online enquiry form.
 

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