E-Newsletter May-June 2016
It was good to see some of you in Edinburgh in April. If you missed the briefing and would like to access the presentations you can view them here.
As you will see from the presentation from the Building Standards Division of the Scottish Government, new legislation in Scotland introduces the opportunity to use DECs in Scotland as well as introducing the role of a Section 63 (Energy) Advisor. We are working to facilitate an easy path to market for our existing DEC assessors and EPC assessors in Scotland. I will be emailing our Scotland LCEAS separately with more information later this month.
For those of you using Hevacomp software for EPC production we have been notified that Hevacomp using EPCeng 5.2.g has now been approved for use in England, Wales and Scotland.
OrCalc Windows 10
We have had feedback from a few DEC assessors that there are problems using ORCalc with Windows 10. There could also be problems with ISBEM that we haven't heard about yet.
The main issue seems to be related to dates, as this software function doesn't appear to operate properly when used in Windows 10. With the problems encountered so far, the solutions that users have told us about include the need to change the region and the language of Windows from English (US) to English (UK) and also make sure that the date format is UK style rather than US style.
DCLG have issued information on changes to the availability of data from EPCs on the Landmark Register. Please read this information which is available here.
DCLG have gone out to consultation on a re-drafting of the EPBD Scheme Operating Requirements (SORs). This is something that is important to all of you involved in the production of EPC, DECs or ACIRs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. We have been working with the other EPBD schemes on this re-drafting and we hope to be able to make the SORs a more effective set of documents for the operation of the Scheme. One of the on-going issues with audits; we have been making a case for a better approach to auditing, based on risk (including known common errors), rather than the current 1% / one in six month approach for each assessor. Despite accepting the risk based approach, the new SORs are still mentioning a one in six months requirement. There is no statistical basis for this and in other DCLG schemes, such as Building Regulation Competent Persons Schemes, a risk based approach is used where subject to satisfactory initial audits a person goes to a one in three year audit cycle.
I would encourage you to look at the proposals and make any contribution to the consultation that you see fit, but as a minimum, I hope that you will contribute on this particular item (1 in 6 month audit), as it a very unreasonable burden on engineers and other energy professionals whose commercial activity includes the production of an EPC on a once or twice a year basis. The counter-argument is that if you haven't produced an EPC for a year, you will have forgotten how to do it. This argument does not recognise that you might have been working on a design for a year before it is at a stage to lodge an EPC. The consultation document can be found here.
ISO 9001 Audit
We are getting closer to achieving our ISO 9001 accreditation in that our UKAS Head Office audit is in the diary for July. At this visit UKAS are going to want to book a date to witness us auditing an ISO 9001 customer.
I anticipate that many of your companies have accredited or non-accredited ISO 9001 Certification already, but I just wondered whether you might consider it attractive to have the CIBSE Certification logo on your certificate in addition to the UKAS logo. This is something that is typically tied into a 3 year re-certification cycle, but from the large readership of this newsletter, a reasonable number of you must be approaching that point in the cycle. If this is something that you might consider I would be willing to offer a heavily discounted price for the initial certification, as you would be helping us by providing a timely witnessed audit opportunity.
Last but not least, and talking of renewals, we will be writing to everyone in August to start the process of renewing your certification. Please let us know if there have been any changes in your contact details, and also please check that you are up to date with all of the maintenance of competence requirements including insurance. Please contact CIBSE Certification at email@example.com should you need any assistance.
Dr Andrew Geens
Head of CIBSE Certification