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Overview

If you operate as a non-domestic energy assessor in Northern Ireland, you must be suitably qualified and a member of an accreditation scheme which covers the type of work you undertake and is approved by the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP).

A non-domestic energy assessor is qualified to assess the energy efficiency of offices, shops, factories etc and produce energy performance certificates (EPCs) and reports containing recommendations for cost-effective improvements of their energy performance.

To join an accreditation scheme you must either:

  • hold a current qualification in energy inspection - part of a National Occupational Standard (NOS) in Energy Inspection
  • have approved prior experience and learning equivalent to the NOS requirements - gained via the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) route

There are three levels of qualification:

  • level three - an NDEA can use Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM) software to produce EPCs for simple existing buildings
  • level four - an NDEA can use SBEM software to produce EPCs for new and existing complex buildings
  • level five (APEL only) - an NDEA can use Dynamic Simulation Modelling (DSM) software to produce EPCs for new, complex buildings

SBEM is a computer programme that analyses a building’s energy consumption. It uses the building’s geometry, construction, use, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and lighting equipment to calculate the monthly energy use and CO2 emissions of the building.

DSM is software that models energy inputs and outputs for different building types over time. It’s used where SBEM isn’t sophisticated enough to give an accurate assessment of a building’s energy efficiency.

Qualifications/APEL may only be valid for specific areas of energy inspection, eg certain energy assessment methodologies or building types. You may only conduct inspections in areas covered by your current qualification/APEL.

To become accredited you must complete an application form and provide any supporting documents and application fee the accreditation scheme requests. Each scheme has its own application form and membership requirements.

You will usually be issued with an identity card and have to pay an annual membership fee.

An assessor from Northern Ireland accredited by an approved scheme also qualifies to work in England and Wales.

You must:

  • show you can carry out consistent and accurate energy assessments independently
  • show you are fit, proper and qualified to carry out energy assessments
  • prepare EPCs and recommendation reports using standardised forms
  • follow your scheme’s Code of Conduct
  • enter any EPC or recommendation report that you produce and the data used onto the relevant register held by Landmark on behalf of DFP

Conditions

When producing EPCs or inspection reports you must include a declaration detailing whether you have a business or personal relationship with either the person who commissioned the certificate, on whose behalf it was commissioned or anyone with an interest with either of these people or the building.

You must carry out energy assessments with reasonable care and skill. When you issue an EPC, you must also issue a report containing recommendations for cost-effective improvement of the building’s energy performance.