Bats in the Belfry
Or perfectly ordinary loft spaces ....
As Domestic Energy Assessors, we know that each working day can bring a new and previously unseen set of circumstances, from crazy heating systems to eccentric householders. Should you encounter a loft space where there is a message warning you not to enter as bats are present you should proceed as follows:
DO NOT ENTER
The EPC can be completed, however. If a warning message was present, photograph it. If there was no warning, but the presence of guano on the joists or loft contents has alerted you to bats, withdraw immediately and document this in your site notes.
Within the software, the access question is answered yes.
The amount of insulation is entered as ‘unknown’.
Remember! When a loft hatch is present, the access question is always ‘yes’ even if the hatch is locked, painted over or in a place where it would be dangerous for you to attempt to open it. It is important, that you do not select ‘no access’ to the loft where a hatch is present, as this can erroneously end the householder’s funding application.
If you find bats, it is important that you do not disturb them for two good reasons:
- A fine of £5,000 can be levied if you act against a warning notice
- Exposure to bat droppings and bat saliva can lead to illness; Rabies can be transmitted by bat saliva and by breathing in infectious spores released if the bat droppings are disturbed a lung disease known as Histoplasmosis can be contracted. Both of these can be fatal.