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Bedfordshire energy efficiency campaigner expresses concerns to Government

Two years on from announcing his ‘uncoupling’ from the failed Green Deal, energy efficiency campaigner, Peter Thom, has written to the Prime Minister to express his serious concerns over the recommendations made in the recently published ‘Each Home Counts’ Bonfield Review.

In an open letter to Theresa May, Green Heat’s founder and managing director expresses his frustration that the recommendations made in the Review put yet more barriers in the way of progress in enabling more people to live in energy efficient homes.

“Peter Bonfield’s Review shows that little has been learnt from the failure of previous initiatives,” said Peter. “The valuable experience, advice and knowledge from those who have tried to make these schemes work and who are on the ‘front line’ with consumers to help them, i.e. heating engineers, has not been considered.

“Following the disastrous failure of the Green Deal, which I highlighted in an open letter to David Cameron two years ago, explaining in detail why heating installers did not engage with this Government scheme, I was somewhat surprised that following 200 meetings with 170 stakeholders and a further 410 organisations, the Bonfield Review is suggesting more of the same by retaining all these barriers. Clearly, the installers’ view is not being listened to and they were probably not well represented at these meetings.

“The original Green Deal scheme was going to be open to all Gas-Safe registered installers, without the need for the added costs of PAS2030 for management systems, additional accreditation, inspections and surveillance. This was agreed with industry, as we are already highly regulated with a requirement to undertake costly training and examination every five years to maintain gas accreditation.
“Peter Bonfield’s Review makes 29 recommendations, including the setting up of a Strategic Governance Board proposed to oversee and monitor these and decide on the levels of auditing required.
“There is also a suggestion that all installers will have to pay to join the Government’s Trust Mark scheme. This could well distort the market for other better known and trusted quality mark schemes, such as Which? and local Trading Standards’ ‘Buy with Confidence’ accreditations.
“Our homes are still among the least energy efficient in Europe. As a dedicated campaigner for improving the energy efficiency of our homes in the UK to bring more affordable warmth to more people; and to cutting carbon emissions to protect our planet, it saddens me to see these barriers put in the way of progress.”