DAILY NEWS Nov 26, 2012 4:58 PM - 2 comments

Firm found negligent for inaccurate energy audit

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Professional Engineers Ontario has officially reprimanded a company and found it guilty of professional misconduct for an energy audit the company performed on a building for Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).

The firm, which has a Certificate of Authorization to practice from PEO, and its employee engineer who bore responsibility for the work, were not named. The case was heard in 2011 but reported this year in PEO's publication, Engineering Dimensions (July/August 2012).

PEO's discipline committee found that the company had provided "grossly inaccurate initial estimates and a report, which provided no benefit to the client." Natural Resources Canada had to "repeatedly seek further information and clarification, and the initial estimates concerning energy savings were inaccurate."

The professional engineer who was an employee of the company was held individually responsible even though he had known nothing about the project until a complaint was registered with PEO. The engineer had not stamped any of the associated documents.

The erroneous energy audit applied to only one of five buildings that had been audited.

As a penalty PEO prescribed that the company should provide to PEO a quality assurance plan for providing engineering services to the public, and that the plan should address energy audits as well as other engineering work. The firm and the employee's reprimand were to be on the register for periods of six months and one month respectively.

The discipline committee did not order any costs to be paid and it directed that the decision should be made public but without the publication of the names or any identifying details for the company or its employee.

The penalties were ordered pursuant to Section 28(4) of the Professional Engineers Act of Ontario.

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Reader Comments

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Byron Zorzos

We are certainly living in a boom town where this new paradigm is concerned Derek. This will make the entire industry more litigious of course and hopefully will not taint everybody, including the reputable practitioners. Definitely a work in progress and worth the bruises.

Posted December 5, 2012 06:14 PM

Geoff McDonell

This could be a new precedent that may (hopefully) lead to more due diligence for energy modeling of buildings - how many designers and design teams have been selected or promised so many LEED Energy Credits and energy costs to building owners, only to see the actual operation come in at twice what was predicted.

Posted December 1, 2012 06:46 PM

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