1 July 2010

Upping the regulation of energy assessors

| johnboy
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Andrew Barr is announcing new legislation to codify the regulation of the nice people with clipboards who decide how many stars your house has for energy efficiency.

People need to feel confident about the system and that they are getting what they paid for. That’s why I want to bring energy assessors under the same licensing and regulation systems that apply to other construction occupations in the ACT.

To date assessors have been regulated by a code of conduct. However the need to continue to improve the energy efficiency of housing; tackle climate change; improve the sustainability of homes and reduce energy use means energy efficiency programs need to be effective.

The new laws will provide better regulation of energy assessors and will give the ACT Planning and Land Authority (ACTPLA) more power to enforce standards.

The new laws will be supported by increased auditing of energy ratings and ongoing education programs for assessors. Two extra staff will be employed to increase the level of auditing to 5 per cent of all work undertaken by assessors. In a year more than 10,000 energy assessments are undertaken in the ACT.

The same systems applying to other construction occupations you say? Under ACTPLA?

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The cat did it6:28 pm 01 Jul 10

Unless more transparency is introduced into the assessment process, we’ll continue to get the inconsistent results Al describes. Regulation of the assessors is only the first step in giving people confidence in the EER assessment system.

The basis for, and assumptions behind the assessment process need to be made public- no hiding behind the “Oh, it’s all very complicated, only someone who has completed the training courses can understand it” rubbish. The next thing they could do is make the energy assessment software package available on a website, so people can see the results themselves.

Unless owners know the basis for their house’s EER, they won’t be able to find out the most effective means of achieving additional energy savings. Surely that’s not what the ACT Government wants to achieve. Surely they wouldn’t just be wanting to find a way of deflecting criticism, would they?

The new minimum is 6 stars as of now, so I think some dodgy operators out there will be squirming.
Good news to the ones who have been doing it right all along I suppose.

Gungahlin Al1:01 pm 01 Jul 10

Without having looked at the detail on this, I have to say this is most welcome, and something we at GCC have been campaigning for over 3 years now – through our website, newsletters and direct representations to Neil Savery and Andrew Barr.

The EER ratings for some houses have been a joke. Even just last week there was a house in Forde advertised in the paper for sale with an EER of 3.5. How exactly, given that a minimum of 5 stars has been in place through the entire development period of Forde? Previously I have seen a Forde house not even completed advertised for sale by the builder as 3.5 stars. Many houses through other new suburbs like Harrison and Franklin are sold with ratings as low as 3, even though the minimums have been 4 and 5 for these estates.

The untold story of this shambles is what a pathetic job (read: non-existant) was done enforcing the previous COLA laws that gave head of power to the EER scheme. This was not an ACTPLA responsibility – I believe it was Justice, putting it under Simon Corbell’s portfolio?

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