If ECO adopts deemed scores' we all might lose out

It is known that DECC are considering the adoption of deemed score to determine the level of funding that is available for ECO installations, and potentially removing the need for an RdSAP calculation to be undertaken. The concept is likely to resemble a similar methodology used during CERT and CESP (predecessors to ECO Policy)  to which some long standing installers look back to fondly.

Deemed scoring is likely to use some sort of a matrix, or basic database, to estimate the carbon savings that may be achieved based upon a few simple criteria. Unlike the present situation where by trained and qualified Domestic Energy Assessors (DEAs) use RdSAP to produce Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), the ‘deemed scoring’ assessor will be an individual without necessarily any training or qualifications and yet be calculating the amount of money that can be claimed from a utility company to pay, in full or part, for the installation of an energy efficiency measure.

Deemed Scoring certainly has some benefits for installers and the utility companies in that it allows for quicker assessment and removes risk from the process because the expected carbon from the installation is less likely change as more details of the property become known.

However there are three major downsides.

1) Deemed scores will be a broad brush estimation of the carbon savings from that type of property, and within the averaging process, for some less usual, or quirky, properties an installer will be unable to claim the full calculated carbon savings that RdSAP would demonstrate. Commercial drivers will then push installers to improve dwellings where the carbon savings are not understated, and the costs of installation lower.

An RdSAP EPC should always be maintained as an alternative to deemed scoring to ensure that the benefits of an installation can be calculated fairly.

 

2) One of the key drivers for ECO is to get as many households as "reasonably practical" living in a home with an EPC rating of E or above by 2020. The current focus for ECO appears to be measuring success by how much money is being spent.

The best way to gauge the success of ECO is to require an EPC at the end of the process to demonstrate the success of the programme.

Government should insist that each installation is independently assessed by a qualified and accredited energy assessor after the installation is complete to demonstrate the success of ECO in objective terms.

 

3) For many households the improvement delivered by ECO will only be the start of the story. A householder presented with an EPC that demonstrate the saving made, and other potential savings, will help to change societies attitude to energy and energy efficiency.

Government should create a process where householders are supplied with an RdSAP EPC which is an authoritative independent report on the energy efficiency of their home and a  list of cost effective recommendations for improvement.

Elmhurst Energy understands the value of EPCs and will do everything it can to demonstrate that value to the decision makers within Government.

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