The Each Home Counts (EHC) Review was published in December 2016, setting out recommendations for improving energy efficiency in the UK and encouraging the uptake of renewable technologies (read our round up of the review here).
But just over a year later, leading organisations representing the plumbing and heating industry have urged the government to halt the review.
Industry bodies including the Heating & Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) and the Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors (APHC) have set out some fundamental concerns with the EHC review in a letter to Clair Perry, Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Of particular concern is the direction of the proposed Quality Mark, against which all those engaged in design and installation of energy efficiency and renewable energy measures will be assessed and certified. Equally, industry partners are concerned over the lack of transparency and accountability associated with the scheme.
The letter also raises concerns about:
- Industry voices being ignored during the consultation process
- The bodies in charge of the quality mark
- Possible conflicts of interest
- Increased red tape burdens being placed on the industry.
Stewart Clements, Director of the Heating and Hot Water industry council (HHIC), said:
“It is with sadness that we have signed the letter. We genuinely believed the EHC scheme was going to support consumers and help develop parts of the industry that do not give good value. Instead, industry believes it has been hi-jacked by groups with compromised objectives.
“That is why, reluctantly, we have agreed to sign the letter alongside our colleagues representing the broader heating industry and professionals who work in it and other leading organisations (APHC, CIPHE, IDHEE, SNIPEF). HHIC are worried about the lack of transparency within the Each Home Counts implementation board, and the potential impacts of this. We have been told countless times that the EHC is a scheme run for and by industry, but the lack of disclosure of minutes of meetings suggests otherwise.
“We are not criticising the scheme but how it is being run, there are solutions to the issues raised in the EHC report. We are already addressing many of them successfully, Of course, we always looking to improve what we do and are happy to take on board any suggestions to improve.”
John Thompson, CEO at the Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors said:
“We need greater transparency and the industry needs to be properly consulted, instead of the current lip service being served; after all, the developments are stated as being industry led? If BEIS continue without proper industry consultation I fear the same mistakes made with Green Deal and MCS will be made again with this Quality Mark.
“APHC are keen to support a framework that improves quality and consumer protection, however we need to be sure that a new quality mark doesn’t duplicate current requirements, be over burdensome for the installer and doesn’t add unnecessary cost and bureaucracy. Nothing that we’ve seen in this proposed new scheme to date provides encouragement that these key points will be met.”
We’ll keep you updated as matters progress.