Survey reveals growing awareness

While the majority of property professionals requiring commercial energy certificates are concerned with sourcing a low cost standard certificate, a growing number are asking for full surveys with the intention of implementing some or all of the accompanying recommendations, according to the results of a recent survey.

Awareness that the true value of the certificates is in the recommendations does appear to be growing as almost 30% of clients questioned said they commissioned detailed surveys from their Energy Assessors, 25% asked for costings of recommendations and 21% said they would go on to ask for implementation of  recommendations.

The results, collated from two informal questionnaires carried out by The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), indicate that while more must be done to ensure recommendations are implemented and therefore carbon savings are achieved, energy certification has the potential to make a real difference.

John Field, a CIBSE Low Carbon Energy Assessor and Director of Power Efficiency Ltd, explained: “At this stage of Energy Performance Certification roll-out, if more than 20% of property professionals have progressed EPC and DEC improvement measures I would say that is extremely positive – effectively spurring a large swathe of energy improvements.

“Granted one would hope for a higher percentage eventually but the emphasis has understandably been on compliance and I believe there will be a gradual increase in focus on the rating and grade achieved and on ways to improve this. You have to measure before you can manage effectively.”

When questioned on the importance of energy certificates, over 50% of property professionals rated them as ‘very’ important, while almost 40% of Energy Assessors said that 50-75% of their clients were aware of commercial Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs).

However, the survey did show some cause for concern as 82% of clients questioned only commissioned a standard certificate, backed up by the findings that 31% of the Energy Assessors polled felt that over 75% of their clients were looking for the lowest possible cost for a certificate without other considerations.

Levels of awareness over the need for Air Conditioning Inspections were also concerning, with 30% of Energy Assessors estimating that just 0-10% of their clients were aware of the requirements.

Jacqueline Balian, Managing Director of CIBSE Services Ltd, added: “The most valuable element of an energy performance certificate is the recommendations report. And it is the only way we have any hope of really reducing actual carbon emissions from buildings.

“CIBSE is therefore calling upon the Government to make implementation of the highest impact recommendations a requirement for any building which receives an F or G grade.”

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