Talking point

Liz MacFarlane, Zenex Solar, talks Green Deal, RHPP and solar duties

Another month goes by and more bad news for installers. We start with the news from DECC regarding RHPP. RHPP has been linked to Green Deal. Fantastic . . . . for green deal. It will increase the number of surveys and most likely the number of installs under the scheme. However, for the heat pump industry it’s another hurdle to jump.  In short, an already highly regulated and technical sale has just been made more difficult.

Another big story this month is the announcement that the import duty on Chinese solar panels will potentially be an average 47.6 per cent, after an initial period of 11.8 per cent that ends on 06 August. Although I have heard some positive stories from installers about this decision, the majority of the industry is opposed to any duty. Let’s forget the potential tit for tat between China and Europe that will start from this. As renewable installers let’s focus on how this affects us, in a word, badly. As I mentioned in my last column, the potential number of job loses is astronomical. However, most worryingly, we have another headline for the national press. As every installer knows with each negative headline the sales funnel is flushed. This means another spike in marketing costs to get the sales of solar PV going again.

In addition, somewhat linked to this, there is going to be a huge shortage of panels in the UK over the coming months. Most manufactures have already reached and sent European capacity. Fortunately, Zenex has managed to secure 9MW of panels during this period.

And finally, something more upbeat. Q-Gen Renewable Heat, my Heat Pump installation company was awarded “Highly Commended Installer of the Year” at the National Heat Pump Awards last month. A great accolade for the company and the team. Well done guys.