In response to the Welsh government’s first Energy Efficiency Strategy, Plumb Center is urging officials to work alongside the heating and plumbing industry to create more consistency in the market.
The strategy outlines how increasing energy efficiency will make Wales a more prosperous nation by creating new jobs, skills and flourishing supply chain. It states that for every £1 million spent on energy efficiency 23 jobs are directly supported in the energy efficiency industry.
The document also sets out the increasing need to recognise the benefits of energy efficiency and take action to: reduce pressures on consumer bills; tackle fuel poverty; support the development of a sustainable energy efficiency supply chain; and improve the energy efficiency of housing stock.
As one of the UK’s leading suppliers of renewable technologies for the heating and plumbing market, Plumb Center has played an instrumental role in representing installers in the new strategy. It advocates that successful delivery will depend on the Welsh government encouraging its UK counterparts to stop altering targets and schemes that disrupt the market.
The heating and plumbing distributor has 31 branches in Wales and has worked with Welsh Central and local government for many years to deliver large scale solutions for households across the country.
Tim Pollard, head of sustainability at Plumb Center, said: “The recent changes announced in the summer budget by the chancellor George Osborne – and the subsequent productivity plan by the secretary of state of business, innovation and skills – have led once again to a crisis in confidence in the market and a significant drop in demand for more energy efficient heating solutions.
“While we welcome any initiatives that promote a more sustainable future, we maintain that the market is dependent on stability and with the rising costs of training and accreditation we must ensure installers can be confident in investing in the future.”
The new strategy also outlines a need for improved information on the value of energy efficiency, the relative benefits of different measures and the support available. Plumb Center endorses the need for a strong evidence base and publicly available information regarding the value of energy efficiency.
Tim continued: “It is our role as a supplier to help installers relay the broad range of measures available to their customers, especially those on a budget with a preconception of unaffordable expense. Plumb Center has also consistently asserted that energy efficiency schemes should be both adequately resourced and designed to ensure the best possible energy efficiency programme for the fuel poor. We are particularly supportive of the changes to ensure that suppliers deliver measures for those poorer households in off gas and rural locations – like many areas in Wales.”
Tim concluded: “The changes outlined in the first Wales Energy Efficiency Strategy are likely to have a fundamental and positive impact on the market, but most importantly we need a consistent framework of measures to support the sustainable uptake of new technologies rather than the stop/start approach to incentives that we have seen in the past.”