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Free accreditation from Jan 2009

Submitted by: MikeC (Admin) on 23-Dec-08 10:35:04 PM

Stroma has today announced it is to abandon membership fees from January 1st 2009 (currently £100/yr) and switch to a sliding price model based on volume of Energy Performance Certificates lodged - which really buggers-up my DEA accreditation cost comparison table, thanks guys!

Stroma EPC lodgement fees from Jan 1st 09

Lodgement Volume Fee Per Lodgement
First 1000 £4.10 each
1001 - 3000 £3.85 each
3001 - 5000 £3.35 each
5001 - 10000 £2.85 each
Software (PDA and Online version) Free of Charge
Insurance (PI and PL) £0.25 each
3rd Party Landmark Lodgement £1.15 each

They may offer free software, but they don't currently offer a free robot to perform the 14 EPCs per day needed to hit the 5001 fee band - that's if it's based on yearly volume, of course (I don't think it is but the email doesn't say).

Competition for DEAs

It's interesting to see how several of the accreditation schemes are beginning to adopt the volume model just as many DEAs enter their second year. With the decision to re-accredit against the backdrop of a contracting property market looming, it's reasonable to assume many won't, which means the heat is on for accreditation schemes to attract, and retain, as many DEAs as possible.

Retention is key, and the volume model is attractive for that reason because you'll certainly think twice before switching to another scheme in future years once locked in.

Rewarding high volume for market-share

But the model also relies on DEAs holding good market-share because if you're the scheme holding the most "lowest-performing" energy assessors, then maintaining the EPC lodgement fees in the upper fee bands gets very tricky indeed: do you risk infuriating members in year two or three, who've perhaps climbed to fee band 2 or 3, by increasing fees?

As competition hots up between the schemes in coming years, I predict the next iteration will be to seduce high-volume DEAs with a 'carry-over' deal: "We've just reduced our upper-tier lodgement fees! Switch to our scheme and we'll carry-over your cumulative EPC volume immediately!".

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