The government has released further guidance (2nd April) on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This new advice confirms that EPC assessments can continue in certain circumstances.
During this stay at home period we appreciate that Schemes are doing their best to maintain business continuity as far as possible.
The guidance from MHCLG is that EPC assessments can continue where properties are vacant or where moving is unavoidable and the parties are unable to reach an agreement to delay. No assessments should take place if any person in the property is showing symptoms, self-isolating or being shielded.
Additional information on government advice on meeting the regulatory requirement to secure a valid energy certificate on marketing a property during this COVID-19 outbreak can be found here.
The government has released further guidance (26th March) on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This new guidance will be of particular interest to Energy Assessors and Surveyors, regarding surveys and work carried out in people’s homes. We recognise that further questions are likely in response to this guidance, and are awaiting further clarification from MHCLG.
Surveyors should not expect to carry out non-urgent surveys in homes where people are in residence, and no inspections should take place if any person in the property is showing symptoms, self-isolating or being shielded. It may be possible to carry out some of your work online and also carry out urgent surveys on empty properties, or those where the occupants are out of the property or following guidance to stay at home and away from others.
Surveyors should follow the latest Government guidance which currently (26 March 2020) states that work carried out in people’s homes can continue, provided the tradesperson is well and has no symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19).
It is important to ensure Government guidelines are followed, including maintaining a 2 metre distance from others, and washing their hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds (or using hand sanitiser gel if soap and water is not available).
Work carried out in people’s homes, for example by tradespeople carrying out repairs and maintenance, can continue, provided that the tradesperson is well and has no symptoms.
Again, it will be important to ensure that Public Health England guidelines, including maintaining a two-metre distance from any household occupants, are followed to ensure everyone’s safety.
Stroma Certification continue to monitor the situation relating to Covid-19 and the advice, guidance and instruction coming from Government. The Prime Minister addressed the nation on Friday 20th March to issue further guidance.
The new guidance says people should only leave their homes for one of four reasons:
Even when following the above guidance, people should minimise the amount of time spent out of their homes and should keep two metres (6ft) away from people they do not live with.
Whilst the government have issued broad, national instructions, there is the allowance for people to make their own decisions on whether they should travel for work. Stroma have been asked for clarity on this point.
Whilst very much understanding the commercial realities for the assessor community we urge you to:
Stroma refers you to the guidance above which mirrors the broader advice given by government. Following completion of a risk assessment, covering the risks associated with Covid-19, and if you believe the work is ‘absolutely necessary’ then you can assess a property. If in any doubt then do not proceed with the assessment.
You must heed your risk assessment, observe social distancing and other advice from government and take all other necessary precautions. Make sure you wash your hands regularly, on entrance and exit from the property, and use sanitiser if possible.
You are responsible for your own health and well-being, so keep up to date with the latest government advice.
Stroma Certification have cancelled all of our upcoming training courses and office based CPDs due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus, until further notice. We will be organising a series of online CPD sessions in the near future, which are currently TBC.
Additionally, Stroma will set new course dates in the near future and will announce these when it is possible to do so.
The government has announced a range of financial support measures for businesses, details can be found below and on the government website. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.
This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:
We have now deployed our remote working plan to keep our staff safe during the Coronavirus outbreak. You can now receive Certification support on 0330 124 9660, or on the email addresses provided below.
Stroma welcomes all suggestions and ideas from members at this time and will look to make further contact and representation to the relevant government body. Where members have ideas on how we can get government to help our industry, then please do share them with us via email.