Cut the red tape say HHIC

Published on Monday, 21 November 2011 10:21
Posted by Scott Buckler

The Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) is urging the Government not to bring in a costly and additional installer accreditation scheme for the Green Deal in 2012. The trade body believes that unnecessary extra burdens placed on installers at this time threaten the loss of benefits from the scheme, could be costly and could put at risk existing safety measures for gas installation

The Code of Practice terms of this new initiative requires a similar accreditation scheme that has been modelled on the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) for renewable technologies which can cost up to £600 a year.
The PAS (Publicly Available Specification) 2030 proposes the specific skills, qualifications and other requirements that construction companies and installers will need to have so they can gain from opportunities that will emerge when the Green Deal is launched in October 2012.

The document proposes the level of qualifications installers will need to have for all disciplines associated with retrofitting energy-saving technology including: heating, wall, pipe, roof and loft insulation, draft proofing, double glazing, micro-generation, and photovoltaics. PAS 2030 also specifies records of work that installers will need to keep, and documents they will have to present to the householder. Accredited installers would have a badge with a Green Deal logo on it to confirm they have passed all the requirements.

In particular HHIC is calling for: All Gas Safe Registered installers and Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accredited companies to be automatically considered accredited to PAS 2030 standards.HHIC believes that these two changes would substantially reduce the red tape burden on heating installers, especially small businesses, and ensure that there are enough installers able to carry out Green Deal installations when the scheme starts in 2012. Helping with the Green economy growth agenda the country so desperately needs. DECC has made consumer protection and robust standards two of the key pillars for success of the Green Deal.

Therefore, to operate effectively, DECC believes a framework will need to be supported by a large pool of qualified installers to implement the measures recommended under the Green Deal. These installers will have to be assessed for suitability to operate under the Green Deal and to be appointed as such. DECC is requiring Green Deal installers to be subject to accredited certification for this activity. HHIC understands the importance of PAS 2030 to provide a specification for the installation of energy efficiency measures in existing buildings where such installations are undertaken within the Green Deal Financing Mechanism. HHIC also agrees that consumers must be protected in any government initiative.
However, PAS 2030 has the potential to add another layer of red tape and unnecessary cost to heating installers in an industry that is already well regulated and operating under strict safety guidelines.

Chris Yates Deputy Director said:

HHIC believes that the current proposals to require current gas and renewable heating installers to become accredited to this new standard for the Green Deal will not only harm the prospects for small installation companies within the Green Deal, it will also lead to a lack of suitably accredited installers in time for the proposed October 2012 launch date.”

The new accreditation simply replicates what is already covered in existing standards. It is therefore an unnecessary and additional cost that installers would have to pay. We fear more installers will ignore existing safeguards like the Gas Safe
Register, creating many more illegal and potential unsafe gas installations. Allowing Gas Safe Registered installers to automatically qualify for Green Deal work, reduces that risk.”


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