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What's really happening?

Submitted by: MikeC (Admin) on 19-Dec-07 05:59:13 PM

DEAs have witnessed yet another round of announcements over the last couple of weeks from several of the larger well known Panels slashing EPC fees to a rough average of £50.

Whenever this happens, the Panels take a kicking. But there's a pattern developing here, and where there's a pattern, there's a theory...

It suddenly occurred to me the other day how fee-slashing news tends to generally happen in batches, over the course of a couple of weeks. What's more, the EPC Panels concerned are usually the same ones each time (although there may be others that just escape the limelight).

I think this latest round is the third or fourth one to follow this pattern, if memory serves me correctly.

Before I go on, I'm not in any way suggesting there's any collusion between Panels taking place, definitely not. But if we accept that, then it begs the question: Why do EPC fees get slashed by multiple Panels within a couple of weeks?

Following the money

There is a larger force at work here, methinks, and I have a theory. So I gets on the phone to one of the Panels and put that theory to them.

It seems I was right. Following the flow of money from a major Estate Agency - Example flowchart

Connecting the dots

Take a look at my example flowchart diagram.

Let's suppose a large national Estate Agency awards a huge contract to a large national HIP provider to supply all its branches with HIPs.

In turn, said HIP provider divides that contract amongst EPC Panels across the country.

Get the picture?

The thumbscrews are turning

Question is, then: Who is pulling the strings here? The large Estate Agency, or the large HIP provider?

I don't know. I do know from the Panel I spoke to (who was, incidentally, happy to be named but I've made an editorial decision not to... just in case!) however, that to win their contract, they clearly did so by pricing on the volume of EPCs being offered.

Those volumes, so far at least, have not materialised. Yet Panels are still having the thumbscrews tightened.

Note: The above business model may apply to some, but not all Panels. Further, some Panels may have a portfolio of various work-channels. Therefore, no inference toward any one particular company should be made.

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Posts: 6
Not sure what you are getting at...
Reply #1 on : Thu December 20, 2007, 00:58:28
The HIPs is the fastest commoditising product of all time. Why are you therefore concerned about it reducing in terms of margin and payback?

It is only a requirement of legislation, and does not add tangible value to the process in any way.

Therefore how can you complain about the fact that it's worth less now than when there were less people able to do the EPC.

It's market dynamics - legislatively essential + adds no tangible cash value to property + more and more can now do it = low value.

That's the answer. Not National Estate Agents.

Posts: 2
Re: What's really happening?
Reply #2 on : Thu December 20, 2007, 12:03:22
I'm not sure I follow you, Steve.

This particular post doesn't seek to complain, but merely to highlight one of the (powerful) forces nudging some of the Panels into lowering fees.

As to whether EPCs add value, or not, is simply too soon to judge. But I'd wager with energy costs rising, their percieved value will increase over time.

Posts: 6
whats really happening
Reply #3 on : Thu December 20, 2007, 13:13:47
The market knows there is an excess
supply of DEA's and a shortage of sales instructions. In this case large agents are squezing the Hip Supliers who in turn are doing the same to DEA panels and they in turn are hitting DEA's. At £50 a time in the heart of a big city you might just about make a passable income but out in the countryside of East Anglia or the West Country where volumes of work are inevitably smaller & you could be traveling 30 or 40 miles between jobs then the economics make no sense at all. Going on DCLG's figures of November and assuming that all those who have qualified become accredited I can only see further pressures to lower fees even further.Who knows if rentals and commercials will generate sufficirnt amounts of work to improve the economics when they come into the equation.

Posts: 6
HIP panels
Reply #4 on : Fri December 21, 2007, 12:44:21
regarding |HIP panels i am not sure what planet they live on if they think DEAs can work for £50 even doing their own street.

For the profession to be worthwhile you need to be earning at lease £800 per week before expenses for me i am hanging on in part time work however will probably not renew my accreditation in the summer. I will withdraw and come back if HCRs become mandatory. the only future for the vast majority of DEAs is as employed DEAs on 20 - 25K.

I have not come into the industry to scratch a living and there are many like me I have invested over 20K so far in training and loss of earnings however unless the panels and providers of HIPs take a fair view on view I will not be around in 6 months time.

Posts: 6
Re: What's really happening?
Reply #5 on : Sun March 23, 2008, 06:24:18
We will be offering EPC's free as part of a package or at £25 each plus mileage regardless of size and complexity from the end of May. How on earth someone can invest £20K in this sort of scam is beyond me. However, with rental properties requiring EPC's from October the demand should be there albeit at £20-£25 a hit.

Posts: 6
Going Down....
Reply #6 on : Tue July 15, 2008, 10:44:35
Admit it, we become the slaves of Panels, Estate Agents....
Back in Oct 2007, when I started to work as a DEA I got paid £85+Vat/EPC,
by now I'm receiving less than half of that, and they just reduced it to £38/EPC, but you only receive work if you become Accredited by Elmhurst, + pay a monthly £29 or so... to use the hand-held E-Tech thing.

Maybe I should train as a plumber, just a call out is £60 already!!!

Posts: 6
DEA Panel
Reply #7 on : Mon December 14, 2009, 17:04:11
Just reading through the above comments and shocked how the market has now become. It's almost Xmas09, and the market is as dead as a dodo. I am lucky enough to be a fully employed DEA on a basic salary of 20k, plus commission if I ever reach it. I have my own website advertising EPC's for £55 no vat, but am getting no hits. Panels seem to be dishing out jobs for as low as £38, it's approximately a tenner to sign off each EPC, so after all the effort, a self employed DEA is looking at clearing around £28 per EPC. I'm just wondering if people are still training up for this?.
Posts: 2
Re: What's really happening?
Reply #8 on : Mon December 14, 2009, 17:13:48
As far as I know, Keny, people are indeed still piling into the mits of training providers with their open chequebooks.

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