Pollard’s Patter

Keeping up with changes in government policies and regulations can be a full time job on occasion, which makes it rather difficult for those of us who already have a full time job.

We have seen the response to the consultation on Zero Carbon Homes 2016 which I think is fair to say, has received a mixed response. The exemption of ‘small sites’ from the standard will affect almost a third of new starts. Secondly, there has been the confirmation of the use of proposed design principles for allowable solutions. This will permit house builders to decide how they deliver additional savings which could include doing more on-site measures, doing more through off-site action, contracting a third party or making a payment into a fund. All this, despite the fact that 70 percent of respondents were in favour of the zero carbon standard.

The government re-shuffle led to the replacement of Greg Barker at DECC by his colleague Amber Rudd. We will all look forward with interest to see if this change in personnel will have any impact on current and new policies.

Lastly, I sense a long overdue awakening to the crucial importance of installers on the progress towards more efficient and lower carbon buildings. I have been involved in several recent events which have highlighted both the opportunities and roadblocks for installers in the renewable heating and microgeneration markets.

Plumb Center is working hard to try to both open up opportunities and to break down some of the barriers including the cost and complexity of training and accreditation.