Industry body has argued that new standard intended to ensure more energy efficient, holistic retrofit work in homes will prove burdensome to tackling fuel poverty
The Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) has said the launch of the PAS 2035 standard will undermine efforts to introduce more efficient heating to address fuel poverty in older homes.
PAS 2035 had been introduced as a new specification for retrofitting domestic properties so they are more energy efficient. A key focus of the specification has been to set out a standard that takes into account different systems such as heating appliances being used in a home, setting out a key role for building assessments and revamped design principles at the heart of any retrofit work.
HHIC has argued that PAS 2035 will inflict burdensome administration on the process of introducing new and replacement boilers to a property.
Stewart Clements, director of the HHIC, said that requirements under the standard can result in the need for up to five professionals involved in installations as part of the standards. He also criticised the standard for having loopholes that could potentially see individuals undertaking work around efficiency that they are not qualified to oversee.
Mr Clements said, “Coupled with bureaucratic delays that could leave vulnerable people without heating and hot water, the proposals announced are yet another example of unnecessary burden.”
The HHIC added that it supposed mechanisms to improve industry standards and consumer awareness of best practice in areas such as domestic energy efficiency.
However, Mr Clements said the organisation did not believe that PAS 2035 would ensure any of these outcomes. He said HHIC would therefore favour better support and funding to ensure existing energy efficiency initiatives were enforced and viable.
Mr Clements said, “PAS2035 offers no demonstrable benefit to industry or consumers above the existing status quo. In most instances, the presumed additional red tape would be a detriment to both industry and consumers.”
“Particularly those having boilers installed or replaced under government-backed retrofit schemes such as ECO which aims to tackle fuel poverty in the UK. Those eligible under the scheme are often vulnerable and unable to afford the measures without assistance.”
HHIC said it was particularly critical; about the drafting process for the standard, which it claims had failed to clearly take in the views of the heating industry. Mr Clements argued that without an immediate chance to address concerns about the new standard, industry faced the potential of increased costs and broader confusion on requirements for introducing boilers in retrofit properties that he expected would increase installation time.
Mr Clements added, “The British Standards group responsible for PAS2035 accept that the heating industry has been overlooked throughout the drafting process. Yet offered no delay on publication dates whilst industry feedback. Meaning that once again industry has been ignored. In addition, the group will only reconvene and review PAS2035 19 months after publication- February 2021.”