Quality mark needed for energy efficiency retrofits, review concludes

A newly published review has called for a government-backed quality mark for home energy efficiency improvements.

The independent review by BRE chief executive Dr Peter Bonfield was commissioned by the government in July 2015 to examine how consumers can be properly protected and advised when they install energy efficiency and renewable energy measures in their homes.

Bonfield said in his report, titled Each Home Counts, that there have been “too many instances of poor quality installations being made by companies who do not have the skills, quality levels or core values required to operate responsibly in this market”.

The report’s key recommendation is the establishment of a quality mark for the domestic retrofit sector, similar to the Gas Safe Register, TrustMark and Kitemark. To obtain the quality mark, installers, designers and assessors would need to show that they have been certified by an approved body and meet the requirements of a consumer charter, code of conduct and codes of practice.

Bonfield also said that all retrofit projects should have “an appropriate design stage process which takes a holistic approach and adequately considers the home, its local environment, heritage, occupancy, and the householders’ improvement objectives when determining suitable measures”.

Welcoming the report, housing minister Gavin Barwell and energy minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe said that it offers a path to the “clear and robust quality framework” sought by large private investors looking to increase lending to the sector.

“We support the intention of the review to provide a more simple and transparent framework which should reduce the need for government intervention across the energy efficiency and renewable energy sectors,” they said in a joint ministerial foreword.

Sign up to our newsletter

Meet our experts