06 RCI 0514

RCI May 2014

INDUSTRY NEWS Cost of Government energy efficiency emerges as flagship schemes face new criticism Both the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) have come under fire from industry and Parliamentary figures following new claims levelled at the energy efficiency schemes. The Green Deal scheme could face investigation from Parliament’s spending watchdog following claims that improvement attempts have led to a “breathtaking spending spree”. “Spending millions” According to The Independent, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has funnelled more than £36 million into the scheme over the last 12 months in an effort to increase interest. In February alone the Government spent over £300,000 on “consumer demand, marketing and communications” for the Green Deal, and £227,000 to a single consultancy company for Green Deal monitoring and evaluation. Despite this funding, the latest figures show that only 246 households signed up to the scheme in March, despite the highest number of Green Deal assessments being lodged in any month to date (25,138). Margaret Hodge, chairman of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, which monitors Government spending, – as quoted by The Independent – said: “It is pathetic when you consider that the Coalition promised to be the greenest Government ever, yet is spending millions of pounds on a scheme that is not even performing at the margins. Sadly the Green Deal is looking like it is extremely poor value for money.” The “flagship” energy-efficiency scheme is already facing investigation from the Energy and Climate Change Committee, which as early as May 2013 published a brief report outlining concerns over the lack of clarity regarding the original expectations of DECC, and how the success of the scheme would be measured. The Committee launched the second stage of the Green Deal inquiry in April. At the same time, there have been renewed calls to Government to reconsider proposed cuts to the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) following new reports claiming that a potential windfall worth billions could be created for energy suppliers. The Insulated Render and Cladding Association (INCA) has published an open letter to the Prime Minister urging the Government to rethink its proposals for a 75% reduction in the target for solid wall insulation (SWI) under ECO. The letter highlights points made in a recent report published by the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR), which states that the proposed changes to ECO will result in significantly lower costs for energy suppliers. This could potentially create a £1-2 billion “It is essential that the cuts reflect what is actually needed and that the excessive cuts are invested in additional insulation measures” New heritage register from NFRC offers choice to heritage sector ...For the latest news delivered straight to your inbox visit www.roofzine.com 06 MAY 2014 RCIMAG.COM windfall, which INCA says could be used to increase the SWI minimum without raising costs for consumers. This message has been echoed by the National Insulation Association (NIA), which has responded to the analysis – undertaken by AgilityEco – by reaffirming its call to Government to work with industry and energy companies in scaling back cuts. Neil Marshall, chief executive of the NIA, said: “It is now imperative that DECC works collaboratively with the industry and energy companies using the most robust evidence and data available to recalibrate the cuts. “There are over 7 million households that need SWI, over 5 million needing cavity wall insulation and over 7 million still needing loft insulation. We have a collective duty to get these done as quickly as possible and to help those households in need to address the cost of living through long-term, sustainable savings on their energy bills. To this end, it is essential that the cuts reflect what is actually needed and that the excessive cuts are invested in additional insulation measures to help those households.” The IPPR report, titled Up Against The (Solid) Wall: What Changes To The ECO Mean For Energy Efficiency Policy, reveals some of the likely effects of the ECO cuts, including putting 20,000 jobs at risk in the SWI sector and the wider community benefits offered by warmer homes that will be missed. The report concludes: “A greater focus on supporting energy efficiency, rather than on cutting ambition to grab short-term savings, is the only way to achieve this... It is vital that the Government moves quickly to establish a consistent approach in its support for SWI, one that takes the full range of costs and benefits of this technology into account.” “Rag doll treatment” The IPPR’s research follows similar analysis carried out by the Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE) which claims that the cuts will display “rag doll treatment of the energy efficiency supply chain”. It argues that the industry has already taken heavy losses following the transition to ECO and Green Deal, as well as losing out in an effort to restructure and invest in the new policies. ACE says further change through cuts is therefore likely to undermine the sector’s “painfully recovered confidence”, as well as have further negative effects. Government announces Green Deal Home Improvement Fund p 14 The National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) has launched a heritage roofing specialists register with the intention of providing help and assurance for architects and specifiers working on heritage projects. Designed to ensure that the roofs on some of the UK’s most precious buildings are restored to the highest standards possible, the National Heritage Roofing Contractors Register provides an exclusive listing of only those roofing companies that have the vital skills and experience necessary for the repair and renovation of heritage projects. Ray Horwood CBE, chief executive of NFRC, said: “Successful cultural heritage preservation is not just dependent on the meticulous planning provided by architects, it relies very much on the involvement of specialist craftsmen who are qualified to work on heritage sites. When it comes to roofing, their knowledge and experience is invaluable. “From concept to completion, the importance of roofing design in heritage preservation can never be underestimated. The Register is already proving popular with architects and specifiers alike, and it is widely being seen as a ‘guarantee of confidence’ in specialist roofing knowledge and expertise.” Made up of over 70 companies located throughout the UK, The National Heritage Roofing Contractors Register features roofing companies that fall into one of three categories. Heritage Roofmasters provide both technical design and quality workmanship; Heritage Craftroofers assure quality workmanship at all times; and Heritage Craft Roof Operatives who carry out the work as specified. The National Heritage Roofing Contractors Register has been endorsed by a wide range of organisations, including English Heritage, The National Heritage Training Group and CITB. www.nfrc.co.uk Work to a B Listed Victorian property (pictured) was undertaken by Bain and Irvine, member of NFRC and the National Heritage Roofing Contractors Register


RCI May 2014
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