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New plans announced to boost confidence in energy efficiency market

""Big changes to the energy efficiency retrofit market are now likely following the launch of a Government-sponsored independent review of the sector.

The Each Home Counts Review recommends measures to improve consumer confidence in everything from the installation of loft insulation, to new boilers and smart meters.

The Review, led by Dr Peter Bonfield, is a culmination of months of work to target the key issues that will support the sustainable growth of the energy efficiency sector.

It is estimated that six in ten properties in Britain could benefit from energy efficiency improvements. Therefore, the growth of the sector presents a significant opportunity to improve health, wellbeing and comfort in homes, reduce emissions from the built environment, as well as creating construction jobs.

The main recommendation is that a Quality Mark is established for all energy efficiency and renewable energy measures. This will seek to present a simple consumer-focused brand that the public can trust, underpinned by strong standards and enforcement.

Skills and training have been given high billing in the Review.

The recommendations say that the understanding about how buildings perform needs to be embedded across construction training, similarly to how health and safety principles have been. It also calls for improvements in the way businesses are assessed for competence, to make sure that the right skills, knowledge and experience are in place to deliver the Quality Mark standards.

This is going to mean making more training available to the energy efficiency sector workforce and it will also be about improving the training that’s already out there.

The Review proposes an ambitious way to assure consumer confidence in the energy efficiency sector. It recognises that success is dependent upon a step change in workers’ knowledge.

CITB has supported the Review process throughout and I’m looking forward to working as part of the implementation team to help turn these promising recommendations into reality.

About the author

Richard Bayliss is Sustainability and Innovation Strategy Lead at CITB. 

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