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Energy assessors rally behind new proposed body

Submitted by: MikeC (Admin) on 13-Jul-08 08:22:59 PM

So far, this industry is represented by AHIPP, The HIP Code, IPPA, NARHI, IDEA, IHI, and, let's not forget also, the accreditation schemes in their individual ways.

And now there's another threatening to crowbar its way in: ProDEA.

A call to arms

Plucky Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA), Charlotte Law, the same lady who created a petition on the Downing Street website calling for the End First Day Marketing (FDM) a few months ago, has stirred-up quite an enthusiasm amongst fellow DEAs on the Home Inspector Forum (HIF), after calling for the creation of another entity to represent and work for the DEA.

The call-to-arms began earlier in the week, if I recall correctly, initially within threads created by others concerned with the threatened introduction of data collectors. The plea failed to gain much traction however.

But then on Wednesday (July 09, 2008) Charlotte boldly stepped-up to create another thread - Is it just me? - which has since exploded to 16 pages as I write.


It has me worried, I have to admit. Not because it shouldn't be done, but because of both the effects it has on other organisations - which I will come to in a moment - and the sheer magnitude of accomplishing the ideas being tossed out of the 'ProDEA needs to do this', bag.

I don't think anyone has quite grasped the enormous amounts of work involved in converting the resulting brain-dump - casually tossed into the forum at the flick of a mouse - into reality.

Knock-on effects to existing organisations

Before I list a sampling of the proposals being put forward by supporters of this new entity, a word on how this effects the current crop of representative organisations.

Amongst those throwing support and ideas into the pot, are members of existing bodies. I wrote to SimonT, one of the leading activists at IPPA, to warn of the risks IPPA faces when both choosing whom to delegate tasks, and what services are promoted based on that selection. Because services depend on people.

Let me expand on that.

In a separate dialogue with Neil Kurz of NRG Experts, I wrote: "...if members are quick to jump into any new org with a website that comes along, it can quickly wreck havoc with [another organisations'] promised deliverables because members spread themselves thin and wide".

I'm talking about all of them here: IHI, IDEA and IPPA (the others make little effort to shake hands with energy assessors so I'll omit them for the sake of this discussion - plus they're nicely funded anyway!)

Dissatisfaction? Or impatience?

When you read the list of actions DEAs are demanding (below), you'll see quite a lot of overlap with the above bodies; indicating, if nothing else, a dissatisfaction with their achievements so far...

...or is it impatience?

Quoting again from yesterdays exchange with Neil:

One only has to look at IHI and IDEA: both in their 2nd year. For all their perceived (and real) problems, fundamentally, it is the lack of hands and a gross under-estimation of the work involved.

Adding: "IHI is moaned at for not doing enough, yet it turns out it takes quite a while to cut through the red tape to setup, by which time most of the activists lost their enthusiasm; IDEA thinks it can outdo them but does so by cutting corners and making easy & quick "headline-grabbing" deals which have nothing to do with its original ambitions. Both are discovering that satisfying the ideals they represent is not easy and takes time... time DEAs don't have."

It's not easy folks! And it's made enormously more difficult when hitherto excited members lose their enthusiasm and don't follow-through on pledges of hands-on support...

...only for them to later jump-ship onto another bandwagon!

Who's doing the real work?

Between them, IHI and IDEA probably have somewhere in the order of 2,000-odd members (although it's difficult to know, in truth). Yet I'd wager less than 10 people do the necessary grunt work, combined!

In fact, I reckon it's more like 6-8 individuals doing what they can between work and family commitments.

And people wonder why little is achieved?

ProDEA - The mountain to climb

Charlotte's thread has allowed me to grab a good sampling of the demands DEAs want ProDEA to satisfy. I've compiled and listed many of them below as best I can.

It's interesting because it's also a barometer of feelings out there too.

If you think I'm being negative, or willing ProDEA to go away, you're wrong. I do ask, however, in light of the above, how realistic is the following achievable?

And if you believe it's achievable, ask yourself: When? How much? And who?

So let's begin at the bottom of page one where boss of Bedford Energy, Duncan Murphy, asks: "Where do we go from here?"

Charlotte's reply: "Keep it simple"


The list

We need a website

Black list of bad paying panels


Up to date information regarding accreditation costs and CPD sessions

A uniform approach to amount and type of CPD

local, affordable delivery

CPD, not just refresher courses 

Accreditation schemes

List of accreditation bodies with their pros and cons

accreditation schemes doing what they are supposed to do and ridding industry of cowboys

Getting work

need a strong plan of how we intend to get business

need the independent HIP guys on board

Industrial action

All DEA/HIs stop doing panel work for a while

march to downing street?

Panels etc. that have DEA's/HI's Institutes's "Seal of Approval"

Small regional groups consisting of a pack provider and, say, 6 DEAs (all charging roughly the same fee, search costs permitting)


Legal advice and help

Unbiased advice re accreditation companies/PI insurance

Legal protection

A place to report malpractice

any new company making  an approach to DEAs/HIs is directed to a screening/vetting process


keep fees above £50

need to have a regional min and max price

fighting fund - for adverts etc

Data-collectors (DCs)

Make sure Data Collectors are not allowed at all

Create petition on Downing St. website

DEA/HIs refuse to create an EPC from data supplied by DCs

all send a letter /email /fax /tel CLG office expressing our concern and request an urgent talk with IHI

PR, sales & communications

EPCs and DEAs discussed fairly and promoted well in National papers by DEAs

More active, positive promotion of the EPC as a standalone product for the general public

A recognised voice that is heard and seen to be doing something about worrying situations.

A way to advertise DEAs

Local DEAs list

Newsletter in plain English

getting on the phone, emailing industry such as NAEA etc.

have a sales team to drag the work in

Regional & national groups



Advice to newcomers.

Holiday cover (without the worry of someone poaching your work!)

Place for worries to be aired

HIP providers working with us

“Bulk buying” there could be a possibility of lower CPD/PI/HIP costs

Keep it simple, eh?


I apologise if you are one of the above contributors - I'm not seeking to embarrass, merely to show, for the first time, what the list looks like when lumped together (can't see the trees for the forest).

Now I ask you to consider the practical logistics of making all those things happen? The numbers of people needed?

Website? I don't think people really understand how much work is involved in running a website - it's one thing to knock-up a static brochure site, quite another to administer a dynamic one that updates and grows. Ask IDEA and IHI!

Ask me! There is loads more work to do here - it never ends, in truth.

But the biggest stumbling block in making all the above happen is embodied within the following two extracts:

'I begrudge paying out £100+ to join something when I am struggling to make a living'

'Something that doesn't want lots of my very hard earned money before I can join'

Anyone care to cost-out the list?

No time

Finally, how long can DEAs wait before all that flows from this list becomes a reality?

And that is the point, isn't it? Because for many, it can't happen soon enough. And this is the problem faced by both IHI and IDEA: members are having to leave because they are victims of the carnage.

My answer (FWIW)

Look within and without.

There are two bodies already available (one too many); the real question is: what are you doing to help things? Bitching from the sidelines? Or writing letters, holding meetings etc.?

They are both in their second year, don't forget. Can you wait another year for another body to get where they are today?

Or is it better to get stuck in and help them build on foundations already laid?

Get listed on the DEA locater - FREE!

Posts: 4
Enough with the negative vibes Moriarty!
Reply #1 on : Mon July 14, 2008, 07:49:33

The list of ideas you have quoted are, as you know, merely a speculative wish list borne of a brain storming session. If you read on in the thread you will notice that the list has already been reduced to the core requirements of the new organisation and will be refined further by members in a private meeting space over the coming weeks.

I can understand why the Chief Executive of IDEA and the Councillors and trustees of IHI are so concerned about ProDEA that they have swamped the forum to pour scorn on the new organisation, after all they are desperately trying to defend their failing organisations, but why are you doing the same?

Yes, it will take time, money and dedication to launch ProDEA. These are not insurmountable obstacles. IPPA was launched on a shoe-string budget in just a couple of months from inception due to a dedicated group of individuals coming together, working hard (and on occasions bullying the crap out of each other) in order to achieve their aims. There is absolutely no reason why ProDEA can not do the same.

Enough with the negative vibes Mikey!


Posts: 4
Quite right Mike!
Reply #2 on : Mon July 14, 2008, 09:55:50

Whilst I very much welcome the enthusiam shown by Charlotte and others, my personal feelings are that it is just a shame that that energy and enthusiasm cannot be directed into an existing organisation.

As the only IHI Trustee on the forum -(I think) I can only assume that Duncans accusations of pouring scorn are aimed at me? Not fair really!

I think I have made four (not counted them) posts on the subject. None of them pouring scorn but just expressing from the coal face how damned difficult it is to achieve the sort of results DEAs want achieved.

I would hope that IHI can quickly develop a 'commercial' arm which can deal with these issues on the back of a properly set up and constituted Institute. Meanwhile I wish proDEA all the best - but caution that it really is not easy to achieve!


Posts: 4
Reply #3 on : Mon July 14, 2008, 11:07:07
Been doing DIY for a couple of days and missed all this! I think very quickly someone needs to map what goes where.

Keep the "representing DEAs" parts with institutes and make ProDEA a purely commercial organisation. Someone to "sell" DEAs/EPCs using a common product / service standard. Minimise the amount of duplication.

What you should be left with is an orgnasation focused on selling EPCs ideally to the public but also on contact to EAs / even panels if the price is right. The members of the commercial orgnisation would then benefit from [free] membership - by receving work which they can't easily satisfy on their own.

But you still have to ask the question - what's the difference between this and IDEA? Other than working from the bottom up.

Both myself and energywise (alex) - tried something simliar across the Midlands. People turn up for meetings and throw ideas in, but very few take a commitment to deliver, (or even response to requests on which direction to take). We were left with a small core of people but then fell out over how much money people will get - because at the end of the day - the organisation needs to take a cut to carry out it's activites.

Anyway - I think I'll might still volunteer. 2nd time lucky?
Posts: 1
Re: Energy assessors rally behind new proposed body
Reply #4 on : Mon July 14, 2008, 15:21:33

I wasn't aware the list had been pruned but doesn't that mean, by extension, pruning those who will join?

Why am I trying to defend "their failing organisations"?

Because the last thing, I believe, this industry needs is another one to fail too.

Each time one dies, so do the hopes of many people. The more organisations there are, the weaker they become.

Look at it from the CLG's perspective: how many organisations can they accomodate?

The point of joining - and creating - a properly constituted representative organisation is that its members control its destiny, from within. Those yielding the rudder can be replaced by others who will steer the ship where its crew want it to go.

But if members don't engage as a collective then no amount of bodies will work.

Yes, the systems become wieldly, as will anything ProDEA sets up, but that's the nature of the beast. Creating another just resets the clock.

IPPA, to my mind, is different in that it's catering for a tangential niche on a narrow and well defined set of principles. But I worry for them when IPPA members devote energy to another organisation just when it needs hands on deck.

Posts: 4
Re: Energy assessors rally behind new proposed body
Reply #5 on : Mon July 14, 2008, 16:32:23
Just for the record I, as an IHI Council member, congratulated Charlotte on what she (ProDEA) was trying to achieve, offered her any help I (we) could and wished her well with ProDEA.

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