Green Deal opportunities for property professionals
The new and expanding retrofit market will provide opportunities for different types of energy and building professionals, including architects, engineers, estate agents and surveyors. This article provides a brief overview, by Phyllis Boardman BSc (Hons) MCIH
Energy surveys, assessments and advice
This is a service for householders and landlords in the form of Green Deal Advisors (GDA). The Green Deal market will expand significantly and drive the demand for GDA. Two approaches for GDAs will evolve:
Specialist energy assessors
Full-time who work on a freelance basis or work for one employer (probably a Green Deal Provider)
Many construction professionals are already working with householders and landlords on improvement or other projects, giving advice on a range of building issues. This provides opportunities for undertaking energy surveys and assessments for energy efficiency improvements under the Green Deal.
Both approaches complement each other and can be marketed successfully. As the demand for energy assessments grow, other professionals - architects, engineers and building surveyors - may seek to become energy assessors, or their businesses may seek to deliver specialist assessor services.
In addition, there are opportunities for members of various trade bodies, including plumbers and electricians, who may also seek opportunities in the assessment role.
Data capture software for mobile devices
The specialist activity of software development for mobile working will grow to fit the growing assessor roles and will present opportunities to developers of business and technical software applications for mobile devices.
To support the new roles, new and innovative surveying equipment, especially hand-held laser measurement devices, will be needed to address the expected upsurge in domestic energy surveys.
Preparing, submitting and negotiating statutory approvals is a time-consuming task usually undertaken by architects. Therefore, not only more opportunities will exist for architects, but surveyors, estate agents and solicitors will develop seamless services for statutory approvals on energy efficiency domestic projects.
Conducting, reporting and negotiating amendments to covenants for energy efficiency domestic projects is traditionally a role for solicitors. However, architects, surveyors and estate agents may also seek to take up these opportunities and provide a streamlined service
The success of thermographic surveys is difficult to predict due to expensive equipment and the restrictions that apply due to unsuitable conditions. The majority of thermographic surveyors depend on electrical testing work for the majority of their service, but more efficient ways of undertaking the surveys will develop and become more attractive.
Providing air permeability tests involves more expensive equipment and requires specialist training and accreditation. It is important to get a reasonable return on investment and current market prices demonstrate a fee of £200 to £500 a day for single sites. Although the market for existing properties is still small, it is expanding and will follow in the footsteps of the requirement to evidence compliance with new housing under the Building Regulations.
Pre-installation inspections and surveys
Energy surveyors and assessors may be able to enhance their skills and expand their business into this market. Demand for specialist surveys for the installation of insulation, building services or renewable energy systems is on the rise. These may be directly employed or be independent surveyors.
Training and accreditation is a specialist field provided largely by the accreditation schemes for Domestic Energy Assessors. However, small providers of training are now setting up and are partnering with accreditation schemes or awarding bodies.
PB Energy Solutions Ltd provides expert and specialised consultancy services to fit all your business needs to make the most of the opportunities under the Green Deal. You can also register an interest in the Greendeal Manager and the Green Deal Consortia by using the links below:
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