Joining TrustMark complements the Competent Person Scheme registration and provides consumers with added peace of mind that they are engaging with a business which has been thoroughly vetted to meet required standards, and which has also made a commitment to good customer service and trading practices. We are confident that the majority of our registered businesses already have the processes in place that would enable them to register for TrustMark should they wish. The requirements generally reflect good business practices and so it’s just a matter of ensuring that these are well documented.
Government is strongly promoting this scheme and has made it a condition of several funding initiatives like the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and the Green Homes Grant scheme (GHG), running from September 2020 to March 2021. One of the reasons that government is endorsing the scheme is that it gives consumers a certain level of expectation of the way a registered business will carry out work in their home through the customer charter. Plus, if a problem does arise, TrustMark offers a range of remedies to give further protection to consumers.
Why should I register for TrustMark through OFTEC?
The TrustMark scheme offers a range of benefits to registered businesses such as:
• Your business portal – to upload your company profile and manage customer enquiries
• Payment and finance options for your customers through your business portal
• Free business leads from the TrustMark customer search system
• Access to benefits through TrustMark’s business partnerships
• Use of the TrustMark logo (subject to a licence agreement) and other marketing materials
• Access to government funded work – such as GHG or ECO
OFTEC is now licenced to offer registration for the following TrustMark trades, which complements our current competent person and microgeneration certification scheme accreditation.
• Heating Engineer
• Heat Pumps
• Solar Thermal
TrustMark registration with OFTEC only costs £80 + VAT per business.
To find out more or to apply for TrustMark registration, visit www.joinoftec.com/trustmark-registration
Green Homes Grant scheme
The Green Homes Grant scheme, which Chancellor Rishi Sunak launched in his summer statement, went live on 30th September and will see £2bn invested in improving the energy efficiency of homes across England (other regions are not currently included in this scheme). Homeowners can claim grants of up to £5,000 (£10,000 for low income households) to fund a range of improvements to bring fuel bills down, improve comfort levels and help the UK meet net zero carbon emission targets.
It also opens up an opportunity for installers to tap into a new source of work and will raise awareness of low carbon heating systems, which have been viewed by consumers with a degree of scepticism in the past, and so could encourage more to switch in the future even if now is not the right time for them.
A condition of the government’s Green Homes Grant is that all work must be carried out by a TrustMark certified business and only these businesses will be able to register on the government’s database of GHG installers and claim the voucher funding. For renewable low carbon heating MCS registration is also required – for other energy efficiency measures, installers need to be certified against Publicly Available Specification (PAS 2030).
TrustMark registration for the Green Homes Grant scheme is an extension to OFTEC’s CPS and MCS registration for the below measures.
• Low carbon heat: Air source heat pump, ground source heat pump, solar thermal and biomass pellet boilers.
Industry sees the Green Homes Grant scheme as an efficiency scheme trial – it’s an injection of cash with the aim of kick-starting the industry and supporting post-Covid recovery. Measures installed under the scheme need to be completed before the end of March 2021, so it’s a short-term scheme and many, including OFTEC, have argued that this means it is unlikely to have the desired effect of supporting smaller installers. It’s important, therefore, to provide as much feedback as we can about the scheme to BEIS. This will help to ensure that that future schemes can be developed so that all installers can be supported and, at the same time, provide the best outcomes for consumers and maximise energy efficiency gains to help reach government targets for net zero.
If you are already registered for MCS and TrustMark, but have not yet registered as a GHG installer, please visit our GHG launch page on: www.oftec.org/technicians/technical-news. To feedback your views on the scheme, contact OFTEC’s marketing team: firstname.lastname@example.org