Spring 2017 – a new quality mark – unanswered questions

Following the release of the ‘Bonfield Report – Each Home Counts’ – an independent review of consumer advice, protection, standards and enforcement for domestic energy eciency and renewable energy, OFTEC, met with the Department for Communities and Local Government on 20th January to discuss the findings.

Along with other competent person scheme providers, OFTEC heard an overview of the report from the ‘Each Home Counts’ team and the next steps required to implement the proposed new quality mark. According to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee, this will begin late spring.

Commenting after the meeting, OFTEC registrations director Adrian Lightwood said: “OFTEC has always championed the importance of high industry standards alongside consumer confidence and so fully supports the aims of the ‘Each Homes Counts’ report. As one of the leading competent persons scheme providers in the country, OFTEC hopes to be involved in discussions about how best to introduce the new quality mark.

“We are pleased that our initial concerns over how the new mark would affect existing successful competent persons schemes have been somewhat allayed. The report clearly states that the recommendations are not intended to ‘reinvent existing organisations or duplicate the key roles they play’. Also that certification will continue in much the same way for installers as it does now, with the purpose of the new quality mark to ‘drive a higher minimum standard, where required, to protect consumers’.

“However, there are still many unanswered questions as to how the quality mark will work and what the new scheme will look like. Also, how the scheme will operate alongside established schemes such as MCS, ECO and PAS2030. As further information becomes available, which will hopefully be shaped by industry input, the picture should become clearer.

“For any new measures to work, buy-in from installers has to be secured. Therefore, it’s going to be important to maintain a balance between raising standards and placing further undue financial and bureaucratic pressure on heating businesses.” 

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