One of the hottest topics of discussion at present relates to confusion surrounding installer schemes that underpin current and proposed financial support incentives from Government in microgeneration technologies relating to work in residential properties. The current situation is that 2012 will see the introduction of two major support schemes relating to plumbing and heating work "The renewable heat incentive, and 'The green deal'".
The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) is the lead Government department in this area supported by Communities & Local Government (CLG) who oversee the more technical aspects of installation such as compliance with the Building Regulations.
DECC will have two installer schemes in place in late 2012, the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) and the Green Deal Installer Scheme. A decision was taken by DECC to establish a new scheme for the Green Deal as one of its primary aims is to support heat loss improvements to the building fabric, an area of work well beyond the scope of Microgeneration technologies under MCS.
What is currently clear is that the Green Deal will include the possible financing of microgeneration measures in properties. Whats not clear at the moment is how these two installer schemes will overlap and in terms of microgeneration installation, will participation on either automatically infer eligibility for customers to gain financial support on both RHI and the Green Deal scheme? The future also looks particularly "muddy with both RHI and Green Deal requiring that work undertaken should be confirmed as being compliant with Building Regulations, bringing membership of a CLG recognised Competent Persons (CP) scheme into the equation as well.
The fact is that there is still much to be worked out on the application of RHI and the Green Deal, with both financing schemes identifying that membership of a UKAS approved scheme operating to quality standard EN 45011 may be eligible. MCS has been operating to this standard from its inception, the Green Deal Installer Scheme will be developed and operable to this standard, we also know that Competent Persons Schemes will be tasked with operating to this requirement very shortly.
With many of the requirements of these schemes overlapping and requirements such as competency of staff being common to all, APHC cant see that membership of all will be required and moreover necessary.
In order that we can minimise costs for members we are waiting for full operating details of the financing schemes to become available in late 2011/early 2012 before making a final decision on which schemes we are going to offer to members. It may also be in the best interests of plumbing and heating contractors to await more detailed information so that they can fully consider their options and economise on scarce resources.