Each Home Counts Newsletter 22 January 2016

NEWSLETTER

It’s a big week for updates and another busy week for the Bonfield Review.

We continue to be encouraged by all the positive stakeholder responses to the Review and challenged as discussions deepen around developing workstream recommendations.  Next week brings another busy, and hopefully productive, week for workstreams.

Liz Male- our lead on skills & training workstream -evaluating the outputs from the recent workshop

 

Workstream updates

 

Following the Insulation Summit on 13 January, the lead group reconvened to have a review session of the outputs generated from the day and to discuss the next steps; more details are in the main article below.

 

Our initial Renewables and Consumer Protection workstream events both take place on the 29th January.  A larger workshop for Renewables will follow in February building upon the straw-man of recommendations developed.

 

Skills & Training

 

We had a really productive workshop on 8 January, expertly facilitated by Liz Male, TrustMark – our industry workstream lead. Technical experts from across the sector came together to discuss a framework for the future in terms of  skills, training and certification that would form part of an industry roadmap going forward.  We were very much encouraged by the enthusiasm and positive attitude of all the delegates.

 

Initial discussions focused on five themes:

 

  • Who are we talking about; who are the people / job functions within the retrofit process who need the skills, knowledge and experience to make this market work really well?
  • How do we define and embed the competence we are looking for in these people?
  • How do we assess and certify competence effectively, so that the market can have confidence in their competence?
  • What are the most urgent training priorities, how should these be delivered, and how should they be funded?
  • What other drivers of behaviour do we need to understand, given that we could have the best qualified, most highly skilled workforce and yet still suffer from poor performance?

 

Discussions covered a wide range of issues including the merits and robustness of standards such as the National Occupational Standards, Minimum Technical Competencies and other competence criteria, certification compliance and the critical importance of collaboration across the sector in order to make change happen.

 

The outcomes of these discussions are being further progressed with experts in the coming weeks

 

Compliance & Enforcement

 

A group of 25 experts from across the energy efficiency and renewable technology industry met on Friday 15 January to continue discussions about compliance and enforcement, which started at the first meeting in December.

 

The group split into sub-groups to debate and discuss:

 

  • A consumer focussed risk-based analysis of the parties involved in delivering measures and services for energy efficiency (including renewables)
  • An oversight mechanism for aligning enforcement and administration processes across all areas of energy efficiency and renewable technologies
  • The essential requirements of a unified code of conduct, building on existing best practice.

 

The experts unanimously concluded that the three strands offered a firm foundation for developing an effective compliance and enforcement strategy.  A full write up will be available in the short future.

 

Insulation

 

There has been a huge amount of activity to date for the Insulation workstream led by Diana Montgomery, Peter Caplehorn and Duncan King from the Construction Products Association.  In December, a meeting of 20 key experts chaired by Peter Bonfield highlighted the strong industry support for improving the consumer journey for insulation installations.  A group of volunteers quickly got to work to develop a straw-man for the future shape of the insulation and fabric improvement sectors.  Several themes were identified for further discussion including:

 

  • understanding the home – a high level view of the energy performance of a property and potential improvements
  • design function for assessing the home – a detailed pre installation survey to assess the property suitability for installing measures
  • installation – quality assurance function to ensure installations are carried out to appropriate standards

 

Representatives from the working group presented the straw-man ideas to a wider audience from the insulation and fabric sectors at the Insulation Summit on 13 January at the BIS Conference Centre.  Attendees discussed whether the straw-man processes seemed sensible and would address the fundamentals to regain consumer confidence in the sector.  There was broad support for the structure of the proposals.  Andrea Howe from Preston City Council shared a local case study where solid wall insulation that had been installed poorly in properties had caused damp problems.  This provided a timely reminder for the driver behind the Review.

 

The focus group leading on the straw-man met again on Monday 18 January and had a productive session on the way forward.  It was decided to set up four teams to concentrate on fleshing out the ideas further and develop a roadmap and business model over the coming two weeks.  The topics for consideration are:

 

  • Mandatory guidance/standards/specification
  • Roles and responsibilities within the end to end process
  • QA/certification/competency
  • Customer engagement/home owners

 

The group are very conscious of the other activity streams and will be liaising with them to ensure efforts are coordinated across the Review. The lead group will reconvene in early February to share their research and agree the next steps

 

The Bonfield 10

 

The team is:

 

Peter Bonfield, Kanta Nar, Richard Mellish, Matt Webb, Michael McIlroy and;

 

Name Workstream Lead on
Alison Oliver Advice & Guidance, Insulation
Elaine Simpson Smart Meters, Compliance & Enforcement
Lynne Ebdon Skills & Training
Will Field Renewables
Sherif Kahky Quality & Standards, Consumer Protection

 

We always welcome your interest in the Review and the workstreams, so please continue to send in your contributions to our joint email account – BonfieldReview@decc.gsi.gov.uk