Each Home Counts Newsletter 5 February 2016

Hello! We are once again pleased to report that there is a lot of activity happening across all the Review Work-streams. The outcome of recent discussions highlights the continued progress we are making. All work-streams are now intently focused on developing roadmaps for the implementation of recommendations and pulling their contributions together for the Review report in the next few weeks.
This week…. Next week…..

Orbit Group Meeting

Peter and team attended a roundtable with some of the largest UK Housing Associations and the National Housing Federation organised by the Orbit Group. This initial short discussion centred on future models for energy performance and investment using the social housing sector as a stimulus for wider community engagement. The sector has significant buying power around energy efficiency that can add to the capacity building across the whole sector.

The positive discussions are expected to result in further participation from the social housing sector into the Review.

Advice & Guidance

Following on from the wider stakeholder meeting for the Advice & Guidance work-stream in December, a small group of key experts met on Tuesday 2nd February to think about more ambitious proposals for improving advice and & guidance to the consumer. The output from this productive session will feed into a wider stakeholder workshop to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Future Events

  • Quality & Standards
Tuesday 12th February
  • Skills & Training
Tuesday 12th February
  • Compliance and enforcement
Wednesday 17th February
Implementation Board
Implementation meeting held on Tuesday. Peter Bonfield in full flow as chair of the Implementation Board, whilst Elaine Simpson is trying out the Ministers desk for size!

 

Peter Bonfield chaired the inaugural Implementation Board meeting on Tuesday 2 February in the lovely setting of the Ministers office at DECC. Peter was joined by the industry leads of the work-steams and also representatives from DECC and DCLG.

The objective of the meeting was to coordinate the work-streams to ensure a common sense of direction and purpose and also to map out the next steps for the Review, including the publication of the final report. There were discussions about leveraging the buying power of schemes (from Government to individual homeowners) which would use the quality frameworks, standards and methodologies set up by the Review. It was acknowledged that some of the proposed actions from the Review will be able to be implemented quickly; however, some will need to be undertaken over longer timescales. The momentum built up during the Review period will need to be maintained to achieve these actions.

In order to do this, meetings of the main Board will be held monthly until the Review period concludes and at regular intervals to be confirmed thereafter.

Compliance and Enforcement led by BBA
Since the last Compliance and Enforcement work-stream meeting in January, there has been a lot of activity behind the scenes to flesh out and further investigate the topics discussed at the meeting:

  • Virginia Graham (RECC) and her sub-group have been looking at key aspects of a Consumer Code of Conduct.
  • Mike Ormesher (Knauf Insulation) has been working up a tool to define the ‘approved list’ (who is covered by the enforcement framework), and

·        Jon Harley (Gemserve) ran a task group on the role of a regulator on Wednesday 3 February.

Claire Curtis-Thomas (BBA) chaired a meeting at DECC on Tuesday 2 February, intended to bring together the work being done by all the Compliance and Enforcement groups and also the Quality Assurance strand being scoped by the Insulation work-stream, represented by David Adams. Peter Broad also attended to provide links with the Consumer Protection work-stream. The synergies between the work groups were very apparent and the work done by all groups is highly complementary and compatible. Further meetings to continue this work and develop the roadmap for the implementation of actions will take place in the coming weeks.

Consumer Protection led by Citizens Advice
The first Consumer Protection workshop took place on Friday 29 January. The event was well attended by participants from across the industry as well as consumer organisations. The workshop brought new participants to the Review who – working together with some of the other work-stream – produced a lively and productive discussion.

The discussions examined the shortcomings of the current consumer protection regimes and much needed improvements, producing preliminary recommendations in the following areas:

  • Marketing and the provision of Pre Installation Contract Information to consumers;

The pre contract stage prior to property assessments or product installations – including lead generators – should be covered by a QA framework. Simple to understand information should be provided to consumers before entering into contracts.

  • The requirement for an overarching Quality Assurance framework:

Further development needed on this requirement, including on enforcement, although it was agreed that this should bring together different sources of installation technical monitoring information and evidence in one place, and allow householders to have access to all available data on their home.

  • Single point of redress:

Agreement amongst participants that a free and easy to access single point of redress for consumers is very important. Further examination is required of the current redress mechanisms to select best practices and align going forward.

Further discussions are planned in the coming weeks to address guarantees, technical monitoring and further examine consumer redress.

Quality & Standards led by BSI
Following on from the successful Discussion Forum around Retrofit in November, a lot of work has taken place to further examine the topics discussed at the forum. With many additional participants expressing interest in joining the discussions to consider and action our next steps, we are planning a follow on workshop on 12 February.

The key recommendations from the initial meeting which will be discussed in more detail next Friday are as follows:

  • Set up a Task Group of key stakeholders to develop a detailed Standards response to retrofitting energy efficiency measures in domestic buildings.

This activity will include (but not be limited to):

Ø  Agreeing the overarching framework for retrofitting energy efficiency measures

Ø  Developing a brief for carrying out a standards mapping exercise against the Framework

Ø  Identifying and prioritising standards development work that needs to be carried out and who may deliver the work (BSI/non BSI)

Ø  Defining the scope and purpose of an overarching process standard in order to respond quickly to immediately identified needs (including quality and detailing)

The Bonfield 10
The team is:

Peter Bonfield, Kanta Nar, Richard Mellish, Matt Webb, Diana Menville and;

Name: Work-stream 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 welcome your interest in the work-streams, so please continue to send in your contributions, thoughts and comments to our joint email account, BonfieldReview@decc.gsi.gov.uk