OFTEC comments in its response to ECO3 ‘Improving Consumer Protection’ consultation

OFTEC believes PAS2035 and Trustmark do not provide the answer to overcoming the quality and compliance issues which have been associated with the delivery of ECO funded installations.

These were the comments of OFTEC registration director, Adrian Lightwood, on the trade association’s response to the Energy Company Obligation ECO3): Improving Consumer Protection consultation, which closed on Tuesday 6th August.

He continued: “Building services such as heating, hot water and electrical already have mature, long-standing training and registration schemes in place such as GasSafe and OFTEC’s competent persons scheme, which largely work to overcome this problem.

“These issues have mainly been caused by funders focusing on quantity rather than quality. As a result, on-site installers have not been given enough time or resource to complete the work to the required standard.

Undue financial burden
“Therefore, introducing another scheme for installers to join is unnecessary and will just add undue financial burden on those who already have to belong to a certification body for PAS2030, a competent person scheme certification body for building regulations self-certification, and possibly the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) if renewables are being installed.

“We are also concerned it will deter many smaller installation companies – who make up the overwhelming majority of UK heating businesses – from participating in ECO, especially when it is these local installers who are most likely to achieve high quality outcomes as they have a greater stake in the work.

“Since the failure of Green Deal, the heating industry has lost confidence in government schemes and before a new initiative is forced on hard working tradespeople, government needs to get buy-in from various trades, otherwise crucial retrofit energy measures will once again fail to gain traction. OFTEC would also like to see further industry consultation on PAS2035:2019 and how TrustMark can/will interact with established schemes such as competent persons or MCS.”