Terms of Business

How this company trades

AREA OF OPERATION

My main area of operation is the whole of Wiltshire and the South West. I can accept contracts beyond this area, but it may be better to seek a consultant in your area.

PROFESSIONAL BASIS OF THE EPC

An EPC can only be provided by a professional who has trained and qualified as an energy assessor, in the appropriate field. Existing houses are assessed by Domestic Energy Assessors (DEA), New houses by On Construction Domestic Energy Assessors (OCDEA), commercial properties by Non Domestic Energy Assessors (NDEA). These roles are not interchangeable and the assessor must be qualified in the appropriate field for the property. I am currently trained as an OCDEA. I have a colleague who is an NDEA who I work with when there is a commercial property to be assessed. I have another colleague who is a DEA and a Legionella assessor

The DEA/OCDEA has to be enrolled with an accrediting body who monitor his standards of practice and service, and insure his professional liability. My accrediting body is Stroma - further details can be found below.

EPCs can only be lodged on the Landmark Trust database by an accredited DEA/OCDEA. If the assessor is not able to do this then the certificate is invalid. Each certificate should carry a reference number (RRN) which the assessor will provide and which can be used to obtain further copies of the EPC. The RRN will only be known to the client, the assessor and the Landmark Trust. Stroma may also see it when they are checking my work.

The EPC gives a measure of the energy efficiency of a property, rated against a standard so that all properties, large or small, North or South of the country, can be compared on the same basis. It also rates the CO2 emissions from the property. An estimate of fuel costs is given, again based on the national standard and current prevailing fuel prices. These may not compare with the actual fuel bill which is also dependent on occupier activity. Advice about improving the efficiency of the property is automatically generated. Estimated savings from carrying out the recommendations are also given. I am also a qualified Home Energy Advisor and can give more comprehensive advice on how to improve your property’s energy efficiency as an additional service. See below.

The method used to assess properties differs between existing and new build. New build is assessed under the full SAP 2013 procedure which assesses every building element. Existing buildings are assessed under RdSAP, using a reduced set of measurements which relies heavily on the date of the property to assume the properties of certain elements.

The EPC remains valid for 10 years.

OCDEA - NEW BUILD, CONVERSIONS AND EXTENSIONS

I work from dimensioned plans and a specification list of the proposed property to produce a Predictive Energy Assessment (PEA). Drawings can be paper or electronic formats in Acrobat, .dwg .dxf or .skp formats. Specifications can be a seperate list or on the drawings. I also have a 'SAP Checklist' I can send clients to guide them.

The assessment will produce a Target Emission Rate (TER) figure for that type of dwelling and a Dwelling Emission Rate (DER) figure which must be less than the TER. If it is not, I will explain where the problems are and suggest remedies. Once we have agreed on a new specification I will be able to issue a PEA which will include a list of specifications as agreed.

On completion of the building, I will need to see conformation that the dwelling has been constructed to the specification on which the PEA is based and certificates for air permeability, boiler commissioning, MCS for solar and any others asked for before issue an EPC. I can also add the new address to the Landmark Registry if need be.

TERMS OF HOME ENERGY ADVICE SURVEY

The survey is ‘non-invasive’. That means that I cannot drill holes, prise flooring up, unscrew panels, or pull light covers off. The initial survey will be visual only and will result in a 'Whole House Strategy' report listing the options available to the householder client. I can take no responsibility for works carried out. This will be the responsibility of the contractor you hire.

If I undertake a measured survey and parts of the property are not accessible due to obstruction or for health and safety reasons, a default value will be applied based on the age of the building and the construction practices typical at that time. Certificates, building regulations approved drawings or invoices for improvement work will be valuable evidence of work done which cannot be seen. Deeds or other documents to prove the age of property would also be helpful.

I may take photographs and/or thermal images of the outside of the property and certain features relevant to my survey. I assure you that this information will be kept confidential. I will be careful not to photograph anything which might compromise your security or that of your property.

GENERAL

PAYMENTS

I am not, at the moment, VAT registered. My terms are payment on receipt of the invoice in most cases. Where we have arranged credit terms I require paying within 30 days.
Late payments on credit may be charged at the Bank of England base lending rate plus 8%, and charged from the date of issue of the invoice.

THE RIGHT FOR THE ASSESSOR TO WITHDRAW FROM THE CONTRACT

I retain the right to cancel the contract under the following circumstances:

  1. Danger to personal health and safety due to the physical condition of the property, its environment or the behaviour/attitude of persons or animals at the property.
  2. Access to parts of the property are restricted to such an extent that it would be impossible to produce a sufficiently accurate and representative EPC or air permeability test certificate.
  3. A conflict of interest arises concerning the property, its occupants or other people connected with it.
  4. The property or part of it is a building site which does not have a manager/contractor present who is competent in health and safety matters and who remains present throughout the inspection to ensure compliance with accepted safety rules.
  5. I am persistently unable to have sufficient information to complete the contract.
  6. I am pressed to produce fraudulent results.
If the withdrawal is due to circumstances which the contractor could have prevented, I reserve the right to charge for the time I have used up to that point.

THE RIGHT FOR THE CLIENT TO CANCEL THE CONTRACT

You have the right to withdraw from the contract at any point. Formal notice of your decision must be made in writing. Please be aware that I will charge for my time and expenses incurred up to the point at which I receive the written notice of the cancellation.

COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

In all instances I will endeavour to be courteous, professional, knowledgeable, thorough and cause a minimum of inconvenience to yourself. However, if in the unlikely event that you have a complaint to make against me, this is the procedure to follow:

  1. 1) In the first instance you should make your complaint directly to me, Robin Brookes, preferably in writing or certainly followed up in writing if you contacted me by telephone. You should give all the details and circumstances of your complaint. I will reply as soon as possible in writing, but certainly within 3 working days and open a complaint log.
  2. 2) I will investigate your complaint and respond with my findings within 14 days of receiving your initial complaint or give you a time by which I can complete my investigation.
  3. 3) I will offer you a resolution to your complaint which you will either agree with or disagree with.
  4. 4) If you agree and further action is necessary on my part, I will take the necessary action to put matters right as soon as possible.
  5. 5) If, after you have exhausted all the previous procedure my resolution is not satisfactory, you should refer your complaint to the appropriate accreditation body, in writing:

  6. Energy assessments:

    General Manager, Stroma Certification Ltd, Unit 4, Pioneer Way, Pioneer Business Park, Castleford, WF10 5QU
    By phone: 0845 621 11 11
    Email: certification@stroma.com
    Stroma complaints procedure - link to pdf document