No extension to CERT

Published:  31 October, 2012

UK: No extension to the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) will be made, the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has told the Builders Merchants’ Federation (BMF).

Contrary to rumours in the supply chain, ministers and officials have this month (October) denied CERT will be extended. A story doing the rounds was - with the possibility of another severe, cold and snowy winter ahead - DECC would be forced to extend CERT for 3 months to ease the situation.

At the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, Brett Amphlett, BMF Policy Manager, put the rumour direct to the Minister, Greg Barker MP. He flatly quashed talk of an extension - pointing out the Green Deal and new Energy Company Obligation (ECO) have come into force by law. Mr Barker said the effort is now aimed towards solid wall insulation under the ECO Carbon Saving Target.

BMF welcomed the news: “Most merchants are no friends of CERT. We want the scheme to end in 9 weeks’ time when it is due to. The way energy suppliers have chosen to fulfil their legal obligations has caused merchants to seriously question their activities - not least, subsidising the price of DIY loft insulation at point-of-sale in retail outlets that debased the value of the product”.

BMF has subsequently confirmed Greg Barker’s position with departmental civil servants when they were in the DECC building last week for meetings on SME involvement in the Green Deal.

Mr Amphlett observed that if ministers were tempted to extend CERT, it would provoke a furious row with some of the Big 6 energy suppliers. Those who have already met their target prior to the

31 December deadline would almost certainly take legal action against ministers. Given that the Government, as a whole, has a strained relationship with energy generators and suppliers at present - on several fronts - extending CERT makes no sense to the BMF.

But the transition from CERT to the Green Deal and new ECO is not a smooth one for merchants and manufacturers. The Government’s own projections show that loft and cavity wall insulation levels will plummet drastically when CERT and other schemes end.

Brett Amphlett added: “Those who do CERT work face hard choices when it ends. They are right to worry about predicted levels of insulation activity. Some may have to make staff redundant at Christmas as they re-align their operations accordingly. That is not a very nice position to be in”.

In recent weeks, BMF has talked to executives from Rockwool, Knauf and Encon to learn how serious the transition to the new arrangements will affect them.

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