Main menu

The week Home Information Packs never happened

Submitted by: MikeC (Admin) on 02-Jun-07 05:46:17 PM

Many Domestic Energy Assessors found themselves officially unemployed this week - Although 30 or so DEAs did turn-up for work on the hitherto launch date of June 1st... albeit to the wrong (customer) address, thanks to Abigail Dombey who organised a delegation of DEAs to make their voice heard outside the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)!

RICs Reveal Their True Colours

On Wednesday 30th, Richard Payne of Specialist Building Surveys found a web-page on the RICs website entitled "RICS view: HIPs and Energy Performance", which clearly reveals - once and for all - how they really don't want the "riff-raff" (they have trained) amongst their ranks...

RICS also encourages government to use the existing supply of practising property professionals who are already trained for this work under DEFRA approved schemes and will produce reports to a high standard and in which the consumer can have full confidence.

In other words, RICS members.

This has been suspected for a while, but here we see it actually officially stated. Understandably, this will upset those who have forked-out several thousands of pounds to both train, and become accredited with, the RICS.

DEA Delegates Granted Audience with Ruth Kelly

On Thursday, a four-strong delegation of DEAs met with Neil McDonald - Director of Home Information Pack Implementation - at the DCLG.

From reading the notes, I'm not sure anything new came out of it but apparently Linda Gray - one of the attendees - received a call from Ruth Kelly's office shortly after, requesting a meeting with the minister herself (date to be finalised), which is something. At least DEAs (should) know that their position will be coherently voiced into the right ear by the force that is; Neil Kurz, Jim Gillespie, Linda Gray and David Thompson, all of whom have been working hard behind-the-scenes against not inconsiderable odds.

A Call to Arms

The (above) meeting has aroused a new rallying-call to those DEAs holding onto their accreditation cash though: They are being urged to march up the cliff and make the leap of faith so as to give the Govt no excuse to restrict energy performance certificates (EPCs) to four bed homes and over, on August 1st.

Whilst I see the logic, I am not convinced the Govt will invite further cries of ineptitude from the opposition, so soon after announcing the delay.

Furthermore, without that all-important Govt pledge to scrap the four-bed minimum, there will be disillusioned DEAs, who, in the backs of their minds, will be worried about their cashflow - That accreditation money might be the mortgage payment that scrapes them into August, or maybe even September.

There's logic, then there's Market logic

But, with relatively few four bedroomed houses, there is no guarantee of work. And assuming that the minimum complement of 2500 DEAs needed to serve a full unrestricted roll-out, did become accredited before 1st August, then there would be a serious oversupply which could potentially mean working for free, after costs.

Add to that; rising interest rates; the usual down-cycle of properties coming onto the market in the run-up to Christmas; the prospect of Christmas with no turkey; and then somehow getting-by until the market picks-up again towards Easter... market logic suddenly starts predicating that the fewer DEAs accredited before, perhaps, January 2008, the better the chances of HIPs limping through...

... but even that's not without the potential problems of insufficient national DEA coverage to service regional demand.

Chicken and Egg

It truly is a chicken and egg scenario - The only certain way forward is for the Govt to bite the big one and pledge a full roll-out, effective August 1st. But that invites the RICS back into court, for such an announcement would surely mean that the Govt, necessarily, would effectively be acting without due and proper consultation.

AHIPPS Considers Legal Action

And so today (Saturday), MoneyMarketing reports that AHIPPS is considering legal action against the RICS.

For what?

Considering that these two organisations have been on opposite sides all along, I doubt there is a contract between them that says: 'The RICS shall endeavour to derail HIPs at whatever cost, but shall not stop HIPs being realised. Failure to abide with this clause will be deemed a breach of contract triggering a claim of compensation'.

I note it was Paul Broadhead, deputy director-general of AHIPPS, who released their statement, rather than the usual appearance of Mike Ockenden (who apparently went-back on a pledge made to its members that he'd resign if the Govt didn't launch HIPs on June 1st... so confident was he, that they would).

Get listed on the DEA locater - FREE!

Blog Posts



Stay informed - no email required.

RSS Feed

What is RSS?

Join in
Twitter feed

Recent Podcasts

Just for fun: Cock-ups & Highlights - Mashup
From the cutting-room floor

31: DEA Roundtable 3: Get rid of "low-life scum"!
John Semens and Malcolm Scott

30: Quest Associates: Software, EPCs, HIPs and chat
Tom Parker, Colin Blears and Liam Parker

29: ProDEA: Passion, pin-ups and pro-activity
What's so different about ProDEA then?

28: Northgate Accreditation Scheme: Russell Osborne
Domestic Energy Assessors welcome

More: DEA podcasts

Recent Articles: