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South West targeted in joint survey with TSO

Submitted by: MikeC (Admin) on 22-Oct-09 03:10:10 PM

Well done to Quidos, which, with the assistance of Trading Standards Officers (TSO) across several regions of the South West, has unearthed alarming data revealing just 22% of commercial properties for sale or rent during August and September this year had an Energy Performance Certificate.

Of the 723 properties examined, in areas covering Bristol, Banes, Dorset, Cornwall and Wiltshire, just 157 had an EPC, according to the report.

Fake Commercial EPCs

More alarming, although no surprise to some, was the discovery of properties being illegally marketed with “fraudulent” EPCs, which could not be found on the Landmark register.

On legal advice, Quidos is being cautious about revealing too many details, but MD, Philip Salaman, told me yesterday: “It’s easy enough to identify who the perpetrators are,” declaring: “We have mentioned it to the accreditation schemes and have been informed they will take the appropriate action.”

Dodgy EPCs “A real problem”

“One of the fears I have in publicising this information is that it will give other people ideas of doing it themselves. But we’ve got to sort it out.”

“There are definitely energy assessors who are creating EPCs and not lodging them into Landmark. It needs resolving. It’s a real problem. It isn’t something that can be brushed under the carpet,” he said. 

Salaman insists the solution lies within the software itself, saying: “We are lobbying CLG for software which doesn’t allow EPCs to be created without having lodged them with Landmark.”

On the results of Quidos’ survey into non-compliance, he said: “It’s dreadful, and things have to improve.”

“The whole point of the EPC is it’s a small step on a very long road to reducing energy consumption, and hence carbon emissions. If we can point out to building owners and landlords that their buildings are inefficient then they may do something about it.”

The TSO has promised to monitor progress and have asked for monthly updates.

Landlords and business property owners face a penalty fine of 12.5% of rateable value up to £5,000, or a minimum £500.

Step up ASs

This work from Quidos, and NHERs’ survey into non-compliance back in June which revealed similar results (see: 80% of Commercial Property Agents Flout EPC Laws, NHER Survey), is exactly what I, and practicing energy assessors, mean when imploring accreditation schemes to step-up and put something back into the industry from which they have creamed well over two million EPC lodgement fees in the last twelve months alone.

Assessors with enterprise should capitalise on this work by drawing-up their own press release for the attention of local media, with accompanying comments, of course.

Read full report: South West EPC compliance report.

[I would have reported this yesterday were it not for extreme server problems with my hosting provider – apologies if affected.]

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Posts: 2
Fraudulent EPCs
Reply #1 on : Fri October 23, 2009, 16:14:07
I think that what is being described as "fraudulent" EPCs may simply be the result of assessors waiting to get paid before suffering the out-of-pocket cost of lodging them on Landmark. That is, the certificate does eventually get lodged, but possibly not until some time after the property transaction for which it was requested has taken place.

With prices being driven ever lower, it is understandable that assessors should seek to manage their cash flow in this way. Hopefully the recent price reductions announced by some accreditation schemes will help.


Julian Edmonds
Upton Energy Ltd.
Posts: 1
Re: South West targeted in joint survey with TSO
Reply #2 on : Sat October 24, 2009, 14:56:12
Hi Julian.

I've heard the same argument used.

From the titbits I've picked up since writing this (courtesy of Joseph Pestell of IHI), excuses varied from "I thought that it had been lodged" (I accept that can happen on some of the software variants) to "The landlord / agent asked me not to lodge it".

Someone else raised a concern saying "Assessors who don't formally lodge EPCs may well be losing insurance cover too - but I doubt that would worry them if they are happy to bend the rules anyway."

Also, limited info on CEPCs is made available on the register to potential buyers / tenants to view, if I recall correctly.

Posts: 2
Re: South West targeted in joint survey with TSO
Reply #3 on : Fri October 30, 2009, 10:03:56
Yes, i read this before in an interview with Philip Salaman where he talked about this issue.
He makes some interesting comments about panels.
Does seem as this is the work accreditation schemes should be doing.

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