Commercial energy assessor
£16,000 + per year
As a commercial energy assessor you would test the energy efficiency of commercial buildings and produce Non-Domestic Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs). If you're interested in protecting the environment and working with a wide range of different people, this could be the job for you.
You’d be using your excellent spoken and written communication skills to work with clients at many different levels. Good observational skills would help you to create in-depth EPCs and give relevant energy saving advice.
To become a commercial energy assessor you would need a Level 3 Certificate in Non-Domestic Energy Assessment and be registered with a Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) approved accreditation scheme.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are needed whenever non-domestic properties are built, sold or rented out in the UK. As a commercial energy assessor (CEA) or non-domestic energy assessor (NDEA), you would test the energy efficiency of non-domestic buildings and produce EPCs. You would also produce recommendation reports with advice on how to reduce energy use and save money.
You would carry out detailed inspections of properties including:
- collecting information on their age, number of floors and building type
- measuring the number and size of rooms and windows
- identifying details of heating systems
- entering the information into a computer software programme, which will produce an energy efficiency rating and an EPC.
Depending on your experience and qualifications you may also be assessing some larger public buildings, which need to show a Display Energy Certificate. This is displayed to the public and shows how energy efficient the building is. Commercial energy assessors may also be qualified to complete air conditioning inspections.
Working hours and conditions
You could choose to work full-time 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.
As a CEA you would normally need a driving licence, as your work would involve travelling to different locations to carry out inspections.
Starting salaries for commercial energy assessors can be around £16,000 a year.
Senior commercial energy assessors or consultants may earn around £30,000 a year or more.
You may earn more if you are already qualified in a related role like a surveyor.
As a self-employed commercial energy assessor the amount you charge for EPCs would vary according the size of the building and its complexity.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
To work as a CEA or NDEA you would need to gain the Level 3 Certificate in Non-Domestic Energy Assessment. You must also belong to a DCLG approved accreditation scheme which is relevant to the work you do.
Having the Level 3 Certificate allows you to apply for accreditation as a qualified level 3 commercial energy assessor and carry out straightforward energy assessments in existing non-domestic properties. You would normally study towards this qualification if you have no experience of working in a relevant setting and are new to energy assessing.
The Certificate is accredited by several awarding bodies, with colleges and private training providers offering the training courses. There are usually no specific entry requirements for the Certificate. Check with training providers for more information about entry criteria. They may also be able to provide you with information about the prospects for work in your local area.
Accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL)
The amount of training you need to do before taking the Certificate will depend on the skills you already have. For example, if you have experience in a related field like property surveying or construction, you may need less training than someone new to this type of work. You should speak to your training provider about the APEL route to having your experience assessed.
The DCLG is responsible for making sure that buildings in the UK meet the standards of the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. Visit the GOV.UK website to find out more about DCLG approved accreditation schemes.
- GOV.UK (Energy performance of buildings)
Once you have gained the relevant qualification and registered on a scheme your details will be entered onto the register of accredited non-domestic energy assessors. Landmark operate the register on behalf of the government. Take a look at their website to view the register and for more information.
- Landmark (Find a Non-Domestic Energy Assessor)
Check out The Building Futures Group website for more details about energy assessor qualifications and careers in buildings and property.
Training and development
As an accredited CEA, you will be expected to keep your skills and knowledge up to date by completing continuing professional development (CPD). You can do this by attending activities like events and workshops or completing courses. CPD activities are often offered by accrediting bodies and can cover subjects like updating computer and software knowledge and keeping up to date with legislation.
Some accreditation bodies also offer access to CPD online by video streaming events, or through online study options. They also offer qualifications so that you can expand your knowledge to include air conditioning inspections and Display Energy Certificates. Take a look at the GOV.UK website for links to the different accreditation bodies for more information.
- GOV.UK (Energy performance of buildings)
As a level 3 CEA you could take further training to gain the Level 4 Diploma in Non-Domestic Energy Assessment and become a qualified level 4 CEA. This would allow you to also assess the energy performance of new buildings and more complex commercial buildings.
See The Building Futures Group website for more information about relevant qualifications.
Non-Domestic Green Deal Adviser
You could also combine training to become an energy assessor with training to become a Green Deal adviser. The Green Deal is a government scheme designed to help you make energy-saving improvements to your business, such as insulation, generating your own energy or recovering lost heat to use elsewhere.
The assessment reports you produce would be used by your clients to decide what action to take next to improve the energy efficiency of their business property.
To become a Green Deal adviser, you would take the Level 4 Diploma in Non-Domestic Green Deal Advice.
Visit the Green Deal Oversight and Registration Body (GD ORB) for more information about Green Deal advisers and registering as a Green Deal assessor organisation.
- GD ORB (Green Deal Assessor Role)
See the websites for The Building Futures Group and the GD ORB for more details about the Green Deal and becoming a Green Deal adviser.
Skills, interests and qualities
To become a commercial energy assessor, you should have:
- 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
- good communication skills to build 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 clear, complete and accurate records
- a knowledge of construction methods, construction materials and heating systems.
Awarding Body for the Built Environment (ABBE)
Birmingham City University
Tel: 0121 331 5174
The Building Futures Group
Green Deal Advisor Association
Green Deal Oversight and Registration Body (GD ORB)
Possible employers include solicitors, estate agents, surveyors, valuers and energy consultants. You could also be self-employed.
You could choose to do further training so that you can carry out low carbon assessment or move into sustainability consultancy. You could also move into assessor training, teaching the Certificate and Diploma.
Demand for work may vary depending on the area you live or work in. It could be worth exploring the need for commercial energy assessors in the areas you wish to work in before making a decision about this career.
You may find the following websites useful for vacancies and further reading:
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