Gemserv is integral to the operation of many Government and industry led energy efficiency and renewable programmes, including the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), the Green Deal and the Biomass Suppliers List (BSL), which supports the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). We also administer the Master Registration Agreement (MRA), which underpins the electricity market, the Smart Energy Code (SEC), the Alternative Home Area Network (Alt HAN), and the Smart Metering Device Assurance (SMDA) scheme within the smart metering sector. Through these roles, we have seen the energy efficiency market evolve and change, based on different Government policies, public opinion and awareness, and industry confidence and competence.
We have responded to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s consultation on the energy efficiency market. Gemserv have responded to a number of their specific questions in the attached Annex, based on our experience and where we think we can add value, and have outlined below the key points we wish to make.
We welcome this Call for Evidence as an acknowledgement that the UK’s housing stock, in particular the owner occupier sector, needs to be dramatically improved if the UK is to meet its 2050 carbon budgets, increase comfort and wellbeing, and reduce fuel poverty. We have listed below the key points we would like to highlight from our response.
- The main barrier to uptake within the owner occupier sector is a lack of interest in, or awareness of, energy efficiency measures. For the Able to Pay sector, energy costs are not sufficiently high enough to encourage renovation; the long-term cost savings achieved through energy efficiency measures are not considered so valuable when compared with the upfront costs and disruption of installation.
- To meet the carbon budgets, it will be necessary to introduce some level of mandatory Government policy regarding retrofit, such as a roadmap setting out what we need to achieve by 2030 and 2050 to meet our carbon targets. This will give certainty to the industry about the long-term future of the market and the market will then decide the best and most cost-effective ways to achieve these targets, in the same way that the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) works for the fuel poor sector. To support this, the Government will need to ensure that attractive and affordable finance mechanisms are in place to ensure homeowners are not adversely penalised and there are no unintended consequences on the housing market if policies are tied to the buying and selling of properties.
- There needs to be greater consistency within the workforce with regards to quality of installations and knowledge of the most appropriate energy efficiency measures for different house types, to increase consumer confidence and ensure the true extent of energy reduction is realised for the homeowner. The Each Home Counts scheme was introduced to address these issues and we understand that progress is being made to introduce a scheme in time for the launch of ECO3 in October. However, we have concerns that the lack of governance underpinning the development of this scheme will result in a lack of significant improvement in the industry once it is launched. The lack of transparency in its execution to date has done little to convince industry that the solutions being developed are truly in the best interests of this market and will effectively support consumers. Without this underlying governance, there is a real danger that the scheme will fail to encourage uptake in energy efficiency measures and improve standards within the industry.
To download our full consultation please click on the link below: