The Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA) has raised the alarm over excessively high numbers of accredited and suspended domestic energy assessors (DEA).
In figures provided to a member of the association under a freedom of information request, the Department for Communities & Local Government (CLG) has revealed that there are currently more than 10,000 registered DEAs. Close to one in eight of these is currently suspended.
Suspensions can occur because of a breach of the regulations such as failure to update a continuing professional development (CPD) record, or failing an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) audit due to a minor technical oversight.
Only accredited energy assessors are allowed to produce Energy Performance Certificates that are a legal requirement for the sale or letting of homes in England and Wales.
RPSA chairman Alan Milstein said: “We knew that the domestic energy assessor market was in disarray, but we were not aware just how chaotic the situation had got. On the one hand we have a massive and uncontrolled over-supply of assessors, forcing prices down to unsustainable and uneconomic levels, and dragging quality with it. And on the other hand we have an auditing process so draconian and haphazard that perfectly competent assessors are being prevented from working due to some minor infringement of the over-zealous regulations.
“This is a situation that must not be allowed to continue and we call on government to carry out an urgent review into the whole industry. We need proper regulation of the training for assessors, significantly higher standards across the board, and an auditing process designed to assess DEAs in a real-world working environment, not condemning individuals on nothing more than a piece of paper and a few photographs.”