Neil Schofield: installers should be placed at the heart of any domestic heating strategy.

Government must grasp industry's plans for domestic heating

Published:  22 March, 2010

WORCESTER: Neil Schofield, head of sustainable development at Worcester, Bosch Group, sets out his own manifesto for change.

"Unless we propose the wholesale scrapping of every single gas-fired boiler currently in operation, we need a plan that takes into account a slow decommissioning of boilers alongside a ramping up of our reliance on renewable technologies," Mr Schofield said.

He went on to urge the Government to reduce the capital cost of renewable technologies with a sensible pay-as-you-go scheme.

"The reinstatement of the clause of the Building Regulations that forces consumers to upgrade their heating systems when major building projects, such as extensions are planned, is a must," said Mr Schofield added.

He also stated that reforming the micro-generation certification scheme is important as is widening the scrappage scheme for old boilers.

"The Government should implement a comprehensive retrofit strategy," he said. "This would be aimed at lower income families, registered landlords and housing ssociation properties."

To engage consumer support, Mr Schofield advocated starting a consumer engagement and information campaign.

He also believes that the installer should be placed at the heart of any domestic heating strategy. "That is the person the householder turns to for advice on how to heat their home, not the Government," he said.

By investing in a comprehensive installer training programme along the lines of the energy-efficiency training back in 2005 put in place for Part L, "it would give installers the knowledge and advice they need to help guide consumers", Mr Schofield explained.

The Government must also pledge to keep the next Energy Minister in place for the full term of the next Parliament. "The industry needs continuity and if any of the major parties can make that pledge, it will warmly welcomed by all," he stated.

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