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Faero failure could hit house energy efficiency

Government targets to improve the energy efficiency of newly built houses could be under threat after a company set up to regulate energy rating assessment teams stopped trading.

Faero was established in February 2006 to provide an industry based standard setting body governing the energy rating of dwellings and is the company responsible for accrediting Standard Assessment Procedure assessors for energy use in new build houses.

It was created as the single body to gain approval as a competent person overseeing the delivery of energy calculations for Building Control purposes and it had been hoped to extend this scheme to become the body to assess competent persons providing Energy Performance Certificates for existing houses.

But after holding preliminary meetings with the department of Communities and Local Government earlier this year the Faero board outlined its concerns over draft proposals for approving other accreditation schemes for individuals issuingEPC’s.

It claimed that CLG was proposing that people accredited to issueEPC’s for houses under construction did not have to be competent as defined by the Building Regulations.

The Faero board claimed this indicated a significant drop in standards forEPCcertifiers and left it with little option but to close. It ceased trading at the end of August.

But now designers and producers are worried that the lack of anySAPaccreditor could leave energy efficiency targets in disarray.

One leading industry insider who did not want to be named said: “By allowing other scheme operators to work at what many perceive to be lower standards than Faero we could see cowboy operators undermining well founded assessment schemes. There does not seem to be any policing of these schemes and that could mean energy inefficient houses being built.”

He added: “There has never been a problem in terms of allowing competition in the sector but this is competition at a lower level. All Faero wanted was a level playing field and CLG did not deliver that.”

A spokesman for Communities and Local Government said: “This is a commercial decision for Faero. We have processes in place to ensure all energy assessors meet the highest standards through training and accreditation.”