Elmhurst Energy were delighted to be invited to today's (2nd Feb) launch of the Each Home Counts report, also known as the Bonfield Review, following its publication in December 2016.
We gave our views on the report at the time of publication, and therefore attendance at this event was important so that we could draw attention to the lack of coverage given to Energy Performance Certificates, energy assessors and Green Deal Assessors. It was also our opportunity to insist that any pay-as-you-save model needs to start with independent advice given by trained and qualified experts.
On arrival, the first thing to notice about the venue in Westminster was the lack of chairs, but fortunately the presentations were short leaving time for us to meet with the working group representatives in an exercise that resembled speed dating.
Peter Bonfield opened the proceeding by explaining why the review was necessary and how it was structured. He was thankful to both the civil servants within BEIS and DCLG, for their commitment, and to the implementation team chairmen for the way that that had listened to the industry and stakeholder views and managed to consolidate their conclusions so succinctly.
Since its publication BRE have received 75 responses, including one from Elmhurst Energy, the vast majority of which were positive and wanting to be involved in its delivery.
Peter Bonfield closed proceedings by announcing that he would now stand down as chairman and expressed the importance of industry selecting a new chair with whom they had confidence.
John Booth from BEIS spoke about the government's commitment to the report and eagerness to see action happen
Julian German, a Councillor from Cornwall, then spoke about their work with BEIS to pilot the recommendations from the Report. A move that was described as "learning on the job".
In reality very little that was said was new to anyone who had read the report however the session that followed were encouraging, and made the day worthwhile. Twelve work items have been selected and attendees were invited to become involved in any of interest. Elmhurst are to be involved in 4 of the 12 including;
- Information hub and data warehouse - which will design the front end of the process to capture consumer interest and give appropriate advice
- Skills and Training - which will define the competencies required of participants, including advisors
- Data Privacy and Protection - which will investigate how the process can make best use of existing data, such as the EPC register and that from smart meters
- Experience and learning - which will define critical success factors and measure progress in achieving it.
On balance it was a morning well spent. Elmhurst had the opportunity to explain the benefits of energy assessment, the importance of identifying measures that are appropriate to the home, and the need to measure improvements as one of the critical success factors. Green Deal failed but most people agree that Green Deal Assessors working with home occupiers was a success and it is important that this is carried through, in one form or another, to the next "pay as you save" framework.
More on the Bonfield report here