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Provisions for the end of ECO3

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has provided an update on the Energy Company Obligation (ECO3) End of Scheme Eligibility Matching.

The main points to note are:

  • The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefits data matching facility will close for ECO3 eligibility matching on 31st March 2022. It is unlikely that BEIS will be able to reopen until the ECO4 statutory instrument comes into force.
  • Parties participating in ECO can still check eligible households up to 31st March 2022.
  • Parties participating in ECO can still check eligibility through alternative forms of benefit evidence.
  • LA Flex eligibility does not rely on data matching, so targeting under LA Flex will not be affected.

If you’d like to get in touch with your thoughts, or if you have any questions, please contact us at info@nia-uk.org or call us on 012171664558. 

Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund awards £179 million

First wave of Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund allocates £179 million to 69 projects

 

With energy efficiency improvements being one of the most effective ways to reduce energy bills, the National Insulation Association welcomes news that the first wave of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund will improve 20,000 homes.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has named a total of 69 projects to have been successful in bidding for funding through the scheme which will invest a total of £3.8 billion over a period of ten years. The funding follows the success of a £61 million demonstrator project, which improved the energy efficiency of 2,100 households.

Targeting social housing properties with an Energy Performance Certification (EPC) rating of D or lower, the funding will see tens of thousands of tenants across England benefit from energy efficiency upgrades including external wall insulation, roof insulation, energy efficient doors and windows, heat pumps and solar panels.

What impact will the funding have?

  • 20,000 social housing properties across England will receive energy efficiency upgrades as government announces £179 million cash boost
  • Funding for 69 projects will help cut fuel bills for social housing tenants and deliver warmer homes
  • Upgrades will support around 9,000 green energy sector jobs and deliver emissions savings equivalent to taking up to 6,000 cars off the road in any given year

Where are the projects located?

  • London, £23,708,238
  • Southwest, £5,024,842
  • Southeast, £8,608,446
  • East of England, £27,323,006
  • West Midlands, £23,208,418
  • East Midlands, £ 27,760,477
  • Northeast, £14,177,002
  • Northwest, £26,309,473
  • Yorkshire and the Humber, £22,573,272

What next?

The upgrades are expected to be completed by the end of March 2023 as part of plans to support lower income and more vulnerable households.

In the Government’s Heat and Buildings Strategy and Net Zero Strategy, a commitment was made to invest £800 million for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund as part of the 2021 Spending Review process across the next three years. This commitment, together with today’s announcement and the associated demonstrator project, brings the total committed funding to just over £1 billion so far.

Wave 2 of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund is due to launch in the next financial year, with more details expected in the coming months.

 

If you’d like to get in touch with your thoughts, or if you have any questions, please contact us at info@nia-uk.org or call us on 012171664558. 

Building Regulation Updates

Building Regulation Updates

There have been a number of policy updates in December so far which may be of interest to members. This e-brief provides a summary of the key updates. If you have any questions about these updates and how they may impact your business, please do not hesitate to get in touch and we would be happy to provide you with further information.

Building Regulation Updates

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has today implemented the 2021 uplift to the Building Regulations via the publication of new approved documents:

 

Alongside the above documents, the Government has laid out new regulations and published guidance surrounding the installation of electric vehicle charge points in new and existing buildings (undergoing certain types of work).

The uplift will come into force on 15 June 2022, following a 6-month period. Transitional arrangements are in place which mean that if a building notice, initial notice, or full plans for building work are submitted to a local authority before 15 June 2022, then provided the building work commences by 15 June 2023, work on that individual building is permitted to continue under the previous standards.

In addition to the publication of the approved documents, the Government has set out its response to the Future Buildings Standard consultation. This sets out the Government’s plans for the implementation of the FBS from 2025 following the public consultation which the NIA responded to.

A full technical consultation on the Future Buildings Standard will commence in 2023.

 

To read more, click here.

We are part of the 19 organisations whose letter to Ministers re Green Homes Grant is covered in today’s Guardian.

Chancellor must make the right decision next week!

Today’s article in the Guardian reads: “Members of the renewable energy industry have written to ministers calling for the green home grants to be maintained and enhanced as a key measure for reaching net-zero by 2050. They say it is incredibly popular with homeowners keen to reduce energy costs and contribute to tackling climate change.

The signatories, from 19 organisations representing or working within the energy efficiency and low-carbon heating sector, said premature closure of the grants would put jobs in jeopardy, dash the dreams of homeowners and put the UK’s net zero target at significant risk.

“Derek Horrocks, the chairman of the National Insulation Association, said: Stable policy is needed to provide the industry with the confidence it needs to invest and adapt to the demands of the net zero transition. Inquiries for insulation and low-carbon heating have been extremely high, in spite of the current circumstances, and companies across the sector have responded and geared up the supply chain to meet demand.

“That’s why we would urge the chancellor not to curtail the green homes grant to ensure that our sector can lead the UK’s economic recovery and meet the government’s net zero ambitions.”

Read the full article here. 

Chancellor urged not to derail green recovery by scrapping Green Home Grants

19 organisations representing or working within the energy efficiency and low carbon heating sector have written to Government Ministers, highlighting the importance of the continued and successful delivery of the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme (GHGVS).

Premature closure of the Green Homes Grant Scheme would put jobs in jeopardy, dash the dreams of homeowners and put the UK’s Net Zero target at significant risk

The Green Homes Grant was announced by the Chancellor, Rt Hon Rishi Sunak in July 2020 with the intention of kickstarting a green recovery, creating jobs and enabling homeowners to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. The initiative has been met with high demand from homeowners and industry, and while initial teething problems due to administration challenges have been significant, it is promising to see these issues now being resolved.

The energy efficiency and low carbon heating sector is concerned by recent rumours that the scheme will come to an early close on March 31st 2021 and that the £320 million of the funding allocated for 2021/22 may be recalled. Such a decision could have significant financial implications for businesses who have invested in developing capacity to meet the demands of the scheme; it would also undermine the trust of homeowners who have applied for vouchers for home improvements yet to be delivered.

Derek Horrocks, Chairman of the National Insulation Association, said:

“Stable policy is needed to provide the industry with the confidence it needs to invest and adapt to the demands of the net-zero transition. Enquiries for insulation and low carbon heating have been extremely high, in spite of the current circumstances, and companies across the sector have responded and geared up the supply chain to meet demand.

That’s why we would urge the Chancellor not to curtail the Green Homes Grant to ensure that our sector can lead the UK’s economic recovery and meet the government’s net zero ambitions.”

Signatories to the letter include:

The Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE), Heat Pump Association (HPA), The Insulated Render and Cladding Association (INCA), Insulated Assurance Authority (IAA), Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), National Insulation Association (NIA), Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA), Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd (REAL), Solar Energy UK, Sustainable Energy Association (SEA), Solid Wall Insulation Guarantee Agency (SWIGA), Caplor Energy, Interglow, Insta Group, Pacifica Group, Permarock, Saving Energy UK, Sustainable Building Services and Westville Group.

 

ENDS

EDITORS NOTES

National Insulation Association Media Enquiries:
Christina Thompson-Yates, PR and Content Manager
Telephone: 07394 560 984| Email christina.thompsonyates@ecuity.com

Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA) Media Enquiries:
Jack Abbott, PR and Communications Manager
Telephone 07590 627739 | Email: jabbott@r-e-a.net

Solar Energy UK media enquiries:
Jack Dobson-Smith, Senior external affairs adviser
Telephone: 020 3637 2946 | Email jdobson@solarenergyuk.org

Notes to Editors:

  1. The letter was sent to Government Ministers on 23rd February 2021 and is hosted on the NIA website: https://www.nia-uk.org/media/1666/industry-letter-to-lord-callanan_final_version_230221.pdf
  2. The National Insulation Association (NIA) represents the insulation industry in the UK with a member base comprised of installers, system certificate holders, and manufacturers who provide a wide range of insulation solutions for homes and buildings. The NIA and its members are fully committed to maintaining and raising standards within the insulation industry.

Professional Indemnity Insurance Survey

Professional Indemnity Insurance is emerging as a serious barrier to the recovery of the UK construction industry as it bounces back from Covid-19

As a member of the Construction Leadership Council, the National Insulation Association is contributing to solving this important issue and would like to encourage all members who have been affected by the severe tightening of the PI insurance market to take part in a new survey, launched by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC).

The survey has been developed as part of the CLC’s plans to develop a robust evidence base, identifying the impact of the PI crisis and the areas where the industry is facing the most significant difficulties. It asks companies to provide confidential feedback on the costs and policy exclusions that they have experienced when renewing their cover.

The NIA sits on the Construction Leadership Council Professional Indemnity Group and would urge all members to participate.

The survey will be live until 12th March 2021. Industry-level details of the results will then be published by Construction Leadership Council and used to inform ongoing work to support the sector. 

The poll is entirely confidential, but firms are asked to indicate their type of business to help target any future support on those areas of greatest need.

Take the survey

Construction Leadership Council Professional Indemnity Insurance Group lead Samantha Peat said:

“The Covid-19 pandemic has dominated headlines for the last year, but there is a second crisis that has been quietly growing for businesses across our industry. “We are speaking to the UK Government and insurers to find ways to help businesses that could otherwise face an uncertain future due to the nature of their PI renewals. We want businesses from across the industry to give us their views – whether you are affected or not – to help us shape the way we prepare a response from the whole sector.”

You can read the full press release here.

Letter to the Construction Sector from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

The Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has written a letter to the construction sector restating the Government position, which is that firms and tradespeople in the construction sector and its supply chain should continue to operate during the national lockdown.

The letter was published on Monday 11th January following new national lockdown restrictions as of 4th January.

Read the letter in full here

An update on the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Regulatory Consultation

Despite the unconventional start, 2021 has already been pinpointed as a year of climate action with the delayed COP26 summit due to take place this November and less than three decades to achieve net-zero carbon emissions. Radical energy efficiency improvements are required across almost every property type in the UK and the NIA has a key role to play in ensuring that this is achieved in a manner that is high-quality, cost-effective and timely. We look forward to continuing to work with you across the next 12 months.

An update on the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Regulatory Consultation

The NIA submitted its response to the PRS Regulatory consultation before Christmas and we would like to thank all of those who contributed. Your input is incredibly valuable and helps to ensure that the NIA’s response to consultations represents the views of members. The Government plans to publish its response to the consultation next spring (2021), and we can expect the amendments to the PRS regulations to be made in the autumn. The amendments will come into force on 1st April 2025.

The NIA welcomes extension to the Green Homes Grant scheme

The Prime Minister has announced his long-awaited Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, which is thought to be crucial in the lead up to the UK hosting COP26 next year. The Green Homes Grant Scheme has been extended by a year, to March 2022 representing an important for success for NIA and others who have repeatedly asked for an extension as delays have affected the start of the work under the scheme. We know that many members are experiencing frustration and significant challenges waiting for the issuing of vouchers and work from the NIA team continues to secure release as soon as possible.

 

NIA Chairman, Derek Horrocks commented:

“The Prime Minister’s 10 point plan rightly recognises the need to put buildings at the heart of a green recovery. We are delighted that the Green Homes Grant Scheme will be extended by 12 months reflecting the unprecedented interest and demand from consumers. Extension of the scheme will provide a welcome opportunity for NIA members and the wider industry to deliver measures that save energy over a lifetime, develop lasting capability and contribute towards net zero’’

 

The Green Homes Grant Scheme

The National Insulation Association’s Guide to the Green Homes Grant Scheme: what we know so far

Become a Green Homes Grant installer 


Register as a certified installer with TrustMark

To ensure quality assurance and customer confidence, only TrustMark registered tradespeople can carry out installation work under the Green Homes Grant scheme. Those installing energy measures must also be certified to do so against PAS standards: PAS 2030:2017, PAS 2030:2019, or PAS 2035: 2019 for park homes, high rise buildings and buildings that are both traditionally constructed and protected.

Registered TrustMark installers will be added to a directory and can be contacted by customers looking to obtain a quote. Homeowners will be able to search for local installers using the Government’s Simple Energy Saving Advice Service.

Join TrustMark Today 

 

Register to be a Green Homes Grant installer

TrustMark registered businesses can register to be a Green Homes Grant installer.
Installers will be asked to accept the Terms and Conditions of the scheme and provide details for payment. They will also need to register for each of the measures they intend to install.

To register, you will need authority to act on behalf of the business, your TrustMark licence number, and the email address associated with your TrustMark account. If your business also installs low carbon heat measures such as heat pumps, you will also need to provide your MCS license number.

Register as a Green Homes Grant installer 

 

Quoting for work

Green Homes Grant installers will be able to quote for energy efficiency work under the scheme. Quotes should reflect the total cost of work, including materials, labour and VAT.
Quotes should not be any higher than what would have been issued outside of the Green Homes Grant scheme. Customers are required to have at least one quote from a registered installer to apply but are advised to obtain at least three quotes to ensure best value for money.

If the customer’s application is successful, the voucher will contain the name of the installer or business they have selected to carry out the works.

 

Timescales

Green Homes Grant scheme vouchers expire after a period of three months, or when the scheme closes on 31st March 2021. The work agreed must be complete and the voucher redeemed before its expiry.

Customers are able to apply for an extension on the vouchers, provided the scheme is still open. Work should only begin once the voucher has been issued to the homeowner. Any work carried out beforehand cannot be claimed under the scheme.

 

Payment

Deposits

Any deposits requested by the installer should be in line with the normal amount charged, and should not exceed the customer’s expected contribution based on the quote provided. Deposits from customers eligible for the low income scheme vouchers should not be requested unless the cost of the measures exceeds £10,000.


Customer contributions

Where a customer contribution is required, this is considered a condition of voucher eligibility. Accepting non-payment or covering costs to secure work will make the voucher invalid and constitute fraud.


Voucher redemptions

Green Homes Grant scheme vouchers represent the cost that will be covered by the Government. This will be paid directly to the installer once the work has been completed and the voucher has been redeemed. To redeem the voucher, the household will need to provide a dated copy of the invoice issued by the installer.

The homeowner will also need to confirm that:

– the installation was completed satisfactorily before the voucher expiry date
– they have received the necessary documents from the installer
– they have paid their share of the costs to the installer (if applicable)
-they meet the relevant eligibility requirements

Help and Support

Green Homes Grant installer enquiries
installer.green-homes-grant@beis.gov.uk


A word from Derek Horrocks – NIA Chairman

“The Green Homes Grant scheme is a much-needed intervention and a crucial part of delivering a green economic recovery. The unprecedented interest our members have received from homeowners and landlords in recent weeks is testament to that. It is a lifeline for many small energy efficiency and construction businesses, including members of the National Insulation Association, and should create huge job opportunities. Many are hopeful that this will be the start of nationwide revolution in the energy performance of our homes.

Businesses all over England will benefit, particularly in the context of economic uncertainty when people are less likely or perhaps more reluctant to have work done on their homes. Industry working practices are in place for companies to deliver work in a safe manner. We should treat this as a pilot scheme for longer term spend on energy efficiency: if take up goes as well as hoped, this could be the start of something huge.”