Each Home Counts: Bonfield Review Recommends Quality Mark for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

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Each Home Counts: Bonfield Review Recommends Quality Mark for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

The government has released a new report from Dr Peter Bonfield: Each Home Counts that recommends a new quality mark should be created for the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries comparable to the quality marks such as Gas Safe or British Standard kitemark.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) report makes a number of key recommendations that aim to raise standards across these industries that formally participated in the failed Green Deal.

New Framework and Quality Mark
The report proposes a new framework, will indicate that the holder delivers to best practice standards in the sector. This will enable the consumer, who seeks to have retrofit work done to their property, to know instantly what to look for to receive high-quality installations or advice and provide consumer assurance that the quality mark is backed by strong redress and enforcement processes.

The new quality mark will not replace current certification bodies or processes but will show that installers, designers and assessors meet the requirements of three key elements of the quality mark: a Code of Conduct; defined Codes of Practice and standards; and a Consumer Charter.

The Code of Conduct will set out clear requirements and guidance on how companies behave, operate and report in order to be awarded and hold the quality mark. It will also contain the core requirements against which an organisation will be certified.

It sets out the experience that the consumer can expect, including response times, redress processes and financial protections. It will also be the consumer-facing summary of what organisations are required to do under the Code of Conduct, and will remind consumers of their rights and responsibilities.

The Codes of Practice and standards will be brought together under the umbrella of a overarching standards framework which builds on and incorporates existing scheme-specific standards, and includes greater emphasis on the role of design in the installation process, particularly for more complex installations or combinations of measures. As part of this, PAS 203017, the existing framework standard for the installation of energy efficiency measures, and PAS 203118 which specifies the requirements relating to the certification of PAS 2030 compliance, will be revised and developed further, overseen by an industry-led working group.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: 
“Bonfield is right to focus on improving quality – both the technical quality of energy efficiency improvement work and the quality of customer service experienced by the consumer.

“The energy efficiency and renewable energy sectors, like the wider domestic building industry, remain largely under-regulated, with too few checks to protect consumers from poor quality builders. In the absence of a licensing system for domestic building work, as occurs in Canada and Australia, we must look at other ways of raising standards and boosting quality.

Berry concluded: “The FMB is also fully behind the drive for higher levels of consumer confidence as this is itself a prerequisite for greater demand for energy efficiency measures. However, this quality and confidence alone will not be sufficient to drive the quantity of low carbon refurbishment which will be necessary to upgrade the UK’s housings stock and make sure the UK meets its legally binding target by 2050.

“We also need financial incentives from the Government to encourage home owners to invest in these improvements. Industry can and will support higher standards but only the Government can ensure sufficient demand.”


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