BSRIA has welcomed the independent, long-awaited review lead by Dr Peter Bonfield OBE, into domestic energy efficiency which has called for a government-backed single quality mark for all energy efficiency and renewable energy measures including green home improvements to safeguard homeowners.
Entitled: Each Home Counts, it makes 27 “cross-cutting” recommendations to establish a “clear and robust standards framework”.
The review can be summarised as a framework of three parts:
- A consumer charter which sets out customer service levels, redress if something goes wrong and guarantees protection.
- A code of conduct setting out how companies should behave, operate and report.
- Codes of practice that are relevant to the installation of the various technologies and measures.
The framework will be signed up to by organisations, who will receive a quality mark to provide consumer confidence.
The review recommends clients – including government, social landlords and private finance organisations – require firms to have the quality mark as a pre-requisite to win work. It proposes a Strategic Governance Board – made up of industry and government representatives – be created to guarantee the framework is implemented.
Lynne Ceeney, technical director, BSRIA, said: “The review sets out 27 recommendations to boost uptake of energy efficiency measures. It focuses on providing a simple, consumer focused framework for home energy efficiency measures – akin to retrofit. It is certainly encouraging to see that there is lots of emphasis throughout the document on ‘reducing duplication’ and ‘avoiding bureaucracy’ which is always welcome among the myriad of government green and eco schemes.
“It notes that ‘how householders engage with energy is starting to change’ which is a key plank of policy that industry and, indeed, BSRIA members should have on their respective agendas.
“It was reassuring that nest, monitoring, wellbeing and smart meters are referred to in detail. The suggestion is to use this opportunity to re-excite home owners into doing something about their poor performing homes and to provide a framework of certainty to enable the private sector to invest in energy efficiency.
“Given the current policy concentration on new home building, BSRIA notes the importance of dealing with the efficiency and liveability of existing homes, given that these make up a significantly larger proportion of the total housing stock.
“We will encourage our members to engage in the initiatives emanating from the review, and are exploring how we can help to deliver some of the key recommendations.”