“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” -Benjamin Franklin
Considering a low Fee Proposal for an Energy Efficiency assessment? Before choosing an assessor, you should know what potential ‘hidden costs’ you might face by selecting an inexperienced Energy Efficiency Consultant.
1. Inexperience may result in missing elements of the building that significantly affects the assessment result.
This could occur as a result of “cutting corners” in the assessment process. An omitted window or door can result in a calculated Energy Efficiency that is lower or higher than what it should be. Missing or incorrect data means the calculations are not for the proposed building. You’re relying on the assessor to be accurate. While the result may be favourable, they are incorrect and not what the building deserves.
Anderson Energy Efficiency doesn’t take short cuts. Our staff are all properly trained in our rigorous checking procedures to deliver the correct results.
2. Inexperience may result in not using current procedures for assessments
For commercial projects assessor should strictly follow Verification Method JV3 conditions in their thermal modelling. For residential Energy Efficiency Assessments, the national standards are in the NatHERS Technical Notes (Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme). If the assessor does not state that they followed the NatHERS Technical Notes, then they probably didn’t. If in doubt, ask your assessor how the assessment was conducted. The assessor could have entered anything into the Star Rating software. The software doesn’t know if a “Zone” should be an “Other Daytime Zone” or a “Night-time Zone”. The assessor is responsible for following the NatHERS Zoning rules. Have you heard “You can get a good result if you change the Zoning”? The Conditioned Floor Area on the Report should be the Total Floor Area of the building minus any outdoor living areas, porches, garages, unconditioned storerooms and wet areas (Bathroom, Toilet, Laundry). Does your Energy Assessor know and follow the current NatHERS or Verification Method JV3 procedures?
For more information on the NatHERS Technical Notes visit www.nathers.gov.au. In NSW the procedures are different: visit www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/planning-tools/basix and search for “thermal comfort protocol”.
3. Inexperience may result in not having an Assessment System
All Energy Efficiency assessments should be conducted in a very similar manner. The assessor then produces a consistent, accurate result and each job is assessed equivalently. Not having an Assessment System means the checking process may be less thorough, resulting in errors. If an investigation discovered there was an error in the Energy Efficiency Assessment, someone will need robust Professional Indemnity Insurance!
Having an ISO9001-2008 certified Quality Management System for all consultants is good practice for a company dedicated to quality.
4. Inexperience may cost the building occupier thousands of dollars.
The reason Energy Efficiency exists in the Building Code is because the users of the buildings, who pay for the electricity, cannot easily improve the building envelope once construction is completed. An inferior building envelope (one that genuinely does not comply with the Energy Efficiency Code) will cost much more to heat and cool.This could greatly affect the building’s owners or any future occupants. The building could receive a low NABERS Energy Rating in the future (NABERS is a measure of operational energy). A building with a low NABERS Energy Rating could be less attractive to prospective new tenants, or owners and potentially increase vacancies and reduce investment return for a landlord.
At Anderson Energy Efficiency, as a result of our expertise we assess residential buildings correctly, and therefore achieve optimum comfort and minimise heating and cooling costs. For commercial buildings we will work with you to optimise construction costs within your requirements.
It’s important to ask yourself, is the risk of accepting an unsatisfactory Energy Efficiency Report worth the potential expenses? Carefully consider the costs and the benefits of using a reputable consultant.