Commercial energy assessor
In this job you would test the energy efficiency of commercial buildings. You would also produce Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs). Making the most of our energy resources is increasingly important. This job makes clients more aware of the need for improved efficiency.
To do this job you should have the ability to create good working relationships. You should have good observational skills. You should also have good time management skills.
As a commercial energy assessor (CEA) or non-domestic energy assessor (NDEA), 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.
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 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.
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.
If you are new to this type of work you would need the Level 3 or Level 4 Diploma in Non Domestic Energy Assessment. This involves completing at least five assessed EPCs and taking a multiple choice exam.
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 to complete the Diploma.
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 Energy Assessment are also available.
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 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 substantial experience and already use DSM (Dynamic Simulation Modelling) software, you may 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. Contact Asset Skills for details of approved certification 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 and development
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 of 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 C & G websites for details.
Another option would be to train to produce EPCs for other types of property.
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
- the ability to develop 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
- a knowledge of construction methods, construction materials and heating systems.
Awarding Body for the Built Environment (ABBE)
Birmingham City University
Tel: 0121 331 5174
Tel: 0800 056 7160
Asset Skills Energy Assessors
City & Guilds
1 Giltspur Street
Tel: 0844 543 0000
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.
You may find the following websites useful for vacancies and further reading:
Related industry information
The property and planning industry is part of the facilities management, housing, cleaning and support services, and parking sector, represented by Asset Skills Sector Skills Council. The sector workforce, which has continued to grow since 1998, represents 3% of the total UK workforce.
The property and planning industry covers both the private and public sectors and includes: acquiring, planning, surveying and valuing of commercial and residential property; plus valuing, selling, letting and managing of commercial and residential property.
- The property and planning industry includes key areas of commercial and residential sales and lettings and property management.
- There are 155,300 people working in the property industry in 37,200 companies.
- There are significantly more full‐time than part‐time employees in the industry.
- 96% of all housing and property organisations have 10 or less employees.
Jobs in the industry include: estate agent; letting agent; surveyor; town planner; auctioneer; residential property or block manager; domestic energy assessor; and emerging jobs such as commercial energy assessor, housing energy adviser and community energy adviser.
National and regional data
The following provides a breakdown of the number of property sector employees in each of the Nations and English regions.
||Nearly half (46%) of the property sector workforce in the East Midlands is aged over 50. A higher than average proportion is employed on a part‐time basis (43%)|
|East Of England
||A significant proportion of the property sector workforce in the East of England is male (53%) and employed on a full‐ time basis (85%)|
||London is the largest employer of the property sector in England (19%). A significant proportion of employment is full‐time (81%), and a large proportion of the workforce is black and ethnic minorities (17%)|
||The North East employs the smallest proportion of the property sector workforce across the English regions (4%)|
||The North West employs 9% of the property sector workforce in England. A significant proportion of the workforce is female (61%)|
||After London, the South East region is the second highest employer of the property sector (17%)|
||The South West employs a significantly higher proportion of males (51%) compared to the workforce across England. 98% of the workforce is white|
||The West Midlands accounts for 10% of the property sector workforce in England.|
|Yorkshire & The Humber
||Compared with other English regions, a significant proportion of the workforce is female (64%) and the majority is white (98%)|
||A significant proportion of the property sector workforce in Northern Ireland is female (66%) and the majority (58%) of the workforce is aged between 20‐29 years|
||Scotland employs 6% of the total UK property sector workforce. Women make up 60% of employees, 98% of the workforce is white, with the majority employed on a full‐time basis (81%)|
||Wales employs 3% of the total UK property sector workforce. The majority, (60%) of the workforce is female and 99% of the workforce is white. Compared to the UK, high proportions are employed on a part‐time basis (36%)|
Source: Annual Population Survey, Housing and Property Labour Market Intelligence Update, Asset Skills, 2008
* Due to a low sample base this figure is excluded.
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