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Jenny Monroe talks to Yvette Wilkinson, energy assessor

Yvette WilkinsonYVETTE Wilkinson is an energy assessor from Lambeg Derriaghy. She developed an interest in construction from a young age and In 2008 when it became a legal requirement that anyone selling or renting a house should have an energy performance certificate (EPC), Yvette decided to train as a Domestic Energy Assessor.

Usually I go on site from 9am until 2pm. I contact the house owner and tell them what to expect from my assessment. On a typical day I may write up notes and complete calculations in my office in the morning and assess clients' properties in the afternoon or evening. Before assessing a property I explain to the home owner what to expect from my assessment and how they can prepare. An EPC is a compulsory certificate which a seller or Landlord must, by law, provide when putting their property on the market. Estate Agents and Solicitors refer clients to me for an EPC, but many of my clients come directly to me from my website and more importantly from word of mouth.

The EPC will show an energy efficiency rating for the energy performance of a home from A to G, where A is very efficient and G is very inefficient. This is similar to the ratings now displayed on sale for domestic appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines. The rating is based on factors such as age, property layout, construction, heating, lighting, and insulation. The ratings are standard so the energy efficiency of one home can easily be compared with another.

The average rating for a home is a D /E. Accompanying the energy efficiency rating is an environmental impact rating of the CO2 emissions relating to the property. A recommendation report also forms part of the certificate and it provides a range of improvement measures which could improve the home's energy performance. On average a typical assessment lasts about 45 minutes. I'll make notes and completes a questionnaire and measure the property. heights. I'll then go back to my office at home, make calculations and input the information into a government database which generates an energy rating energy performance certificate (EPC) for the property.

I will draw up a recommendation report and send a copy of the certificate to the client typically within 48 hours. Alongside each improvement recommended in the report is an approximate cost, a typical cost saving per year and the performance rating after undertaking the improvement. An EPC is more than a legally required document, each home owner can understand and use their EPC as a guide to improving the efficiency of their home and potentially save money on their fuel bills. I have done some schools work also go into schools to raise environmental awareness. I really enjoy this part of my role as I like working with children and showing them how we can help the environment.

I give them a childlike version of the survey I use when I'm assessing houses. The children, with the help of their parents, go round their houses safely and answer the questions. Then they come back in and I'll look at the completed surveys and tell them what improvements could be made. Children are very enthusiastic about the future of our world and really do want to do something to help. I've always had an interest in the environment and reducing carbon emissions so this job allows me to enjoy buildings and further my interest in the construction of buildings and my passion for the environment. I really do love it.

Ulster Star