What Changed in 2019?

As one year ends and another begins we look at the home improvement marketplace in 2019 and reflect on a tremendously exciting and busy year for QASSS and its schemes HIES, DGCOS and HICS.

Our Achievements

  • We have transformed our complaint handling and ADR service offering industry-leading speed of resolution, reducing the average time to 3.59 days as compared to the industry average of 80 days.
  • Our alternative dispute resolution service (ADR) has been recognised by the 2020 Complaint Handling Awards and we have been shortlisted as finalists in 2 categories – ‘Best Complaint Handling’ and ‘Best Complaint Handling Team of the Year – Initiative’. Plus, we’ve also been nominated for another award with the Top Companies for Customer Service.
  • We continued the process in 2019 of really getting to know our customers much better, either being on the road and meeting face-to-face or chatting to them over the phone.
  • We rebranded and relaunched our HIES, DGCOS and HICS consumer protection websites and marketing material, including the introduction of a new brand ambassador, George Clarke, a passionate advocate for high standards in the home improvement industry.
  • Towards the end of 2019, we also launched our new e-commerce shop to make it easier to order marketing material and register your jobs all in one place.
  • In 2019, we refreshed the QASSS site to showcase our remedial management, alternative dispute resolution and complaints handling services for the home improvement sector.
  • In 2019 we invested internally to support our network. We have brought in senior specialists in the areas of IT, marketing, service delivery, and quality assurance to set up the business for the future as well as supporting our members.
  • We announced new partnerships with finance lenders, finance brokers, manufacturers, investors and West Yorkshire Trading Standards, to provide our customers with new model documentation for 2020 that will help cover you across all bases, from a legal perspective.

Similarly, as we have done, renewable installers may be reflecting and evaluating the past 12 months to set some goals for the year ahead. As well as personal goals, renewable installers might be looking at the renewables industry and setting themselves work-related goals based on the changing marketplace. So, what changed for renewables in 2019?

The Feed-In Tariff

2019 saw the end of the Feed-In Tariff, an end that caused much anxiety within the renewables sector. However, despite this, we have still seen positive growth from installers. Some installers have moved into other products whereas others have refreshed their marketing material to stand out from the crowd, despite the doom and gloom of the FIT closure.

Smart Export Guarantee

As one incentive ends, another one opens. 2020 has seen the launch of the Smart Export Guarantee. The SEG scheme has been launched in the hope to encourage more homeowners to use renewable energy to power their homes. To find out more about SEG, please see our ‘What You Need to Know About the Smart Export Guarantee’ blog.

Renewable Energy Milestone

2019 was labelled the cleanest year on record for renewables. The amount of zero-carbon power generated in the UK surpassed that from fossil fuels for a full 12 months. The growth of renewables combined with a decline in the use of coal power is what led to the monumental achievement. Data released by National Grid shows;

  • 5% of Britain’s electricity in 2019 was generated by a combination of wind farms, solar and nuclear energy, alongside energy imported by subsea interconnectors,
  • 43% was generated by fossil fuels,
  • 5% was generated by biomass. [1]

Sustainability

Sustainability amongst consumers continues to grow as homeowners are actively focusing on reducing their energy consumption, not just to save money but also to help the environment. With this trend over 2019, we can expect to see more homeowners looking to incorporate renewable energy within their homes over the next few years and huge growth in this marketplace. Market analysis by IAE has forecasted that the surge in renewables is likely to be led by solar PV in the years 2019 – 2024. [2]

[1] https://www.nationalgrid.com/britain-hits-historic-clean-energy-milestone-zero-carbon-electricity-outstrips-fossil-fuels-2019

[2] iea.org/reports/renewables-2019

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay