What is the Commercial EPC Conventions Group?

Mike Tofts

Championed as a cause by NES for several months, the Commercial EPC Conventions Group is now on its sixth meeting (a 2 day affair hosted by us) and is getting perilously close to issuing its first set of conventions.

The group has representatives from all accreditation schemes, technical support from BRE and AECOM, and overall administration and approval from CLG.

The group’s fundamental aim is to improve consistency in CEPC approach and delivery across all schemes. This will have the effect of improving credibility for the CEPC process as a whole, even when scrutinised by the hawks from the Daily Mail and similar organisations.

The group aims to achieve this by first identifying and clarifying the important technical issues, then setting appropriate standards and conventions that all schemes will implement and abide by.  

Terms of reference have been set and agreed, and decisions can and will be made by a relatively small group if necessary. To date, a good sized ‘hard core’ group of schemes have been constantly in attendance and are all similarly minded in their approach to a greater good for all, rather than defending any commercial sensitivities.

The path to complete (or even partial) consistency is not an easy one, and is borne out by the fact that an output has yet to be delivered, but Issue 1 of the conventions is a fairly weighty set and should prove worth the wait. Even the seemingly easy conventions can turn out to be difficult when you have 6 keen accreditation schemes sitting around a table, and in some cases an almost complete lack of guidance or even intent from guiding organisations (naming no names!) will severely hamper progress being made. Several key fundamental issues, such as the details of what is a party wall and what is a low energy building, remain unresolved. We’re working hard with everyone else to sort out aspects such as these as soon as possible.

However, the group’s aims are realistic, and a good convention that deals with 90% of the circumstances for a particular issue is a vast improvement on having no convention at all – or even 6 subtly different conventions for the same issue!

It is also important that all schemes are given the opportunity to offer input and have their say whilst advancing the issues. It is a measure of the group’s success and the chairmanship of NES that even after 6 meetings the schemes are still keen to attend and see that real progress is being made.

Ultimately the pace of conventions issue should quicken as the group becomes more and more familiar with the issues and the processes, and with each other. We look forward to many more new conventions being issued in the near future. Importantly, it should be acknowledged that none of this may have happened at all without the determined efforts of National Energy Services, and we are justifiably proud of our efforts in this area.

As further details are confirmed, we will let our members know via our Technical Bulletins and this blog. In the meantime, if you have any comments or questions about the conventions group, we’d be pleased to hear them. Let us know in the comments below.

The views expressed in this blog article are the personal views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of National Energy Services.  When submitting a comment, please be aware of the guidelines provided in our website terms and conditions.



Keep up the great work on this, seems a pity to sort out standards this late in the day but its essential your work comes to fruition. Right now the CEPCs aren't good enough for the job they are supposed to be doing.


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