The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) yesterday sent out revised Scheme Operating Requirements affecting all Energy Performance of Buildings Directive products in the UK.

It has been brought to DCLG’s attention that some Domestic Energy Assessors (DEAs) have received correspondence claiming that their details have been obtained from the National Database and that there is an EPC job in their area.

The text received reads along the lines of:

“We have an EPC instruction for a property that is about to have solar panels installed. You will be required to issue a draft EPC initially as if the panels had been installed.

“Following completion of the PV installation we will provide the MCS Certificate and a photograph of the panels in order for you to lodge the EPC.

“Your invoice can be submitted for immediate payment following the initial survey. You will not be required to return to the property.”

The DCLG has since sent out a warning noting that it does not consider any EPC that has been produced in line with the instructions contained in this or similar correspondence to be compliant with the Scheme Operating Requirements. The Department makes particular reference to the fact that these instructions appear to allow an EPC to be produced without a site visit where the presence of the PV system can be verified by the Energy Assessor.

According to the new requirements, all DEAs who are found to be producing EPCs in line with these instructions after July 1 will have committed a serious breach of the Code of Conduct and therefore appropriate disciplinary action will be taken out against them. The DCLG has confirmed that this requirement will not be retrospective.

The Solar Trade Association has forwarded this information to its members and is currently working through the changes to ensure its Product Rules and Membership Rules reflect the new requirements. For further information on the DCLG’s Scheme Operating Requirements please read the STA’s guidance note here.