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HIES responds to the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) Consultation

 

Earlier this year the Government put in place plans to end the successful Feed-In Tariffs (FITs) scheme and replace it with a Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). Since 2010, under FITs, over 830,000 households1, businesses and communities have been able to receive payments for clean energy that is both exported to the grid and generated for their own use.

As the Government moves away from a subsidy-free future, they have been looking to develop market-led solutions that are not reliant on subsidies. In January the ‘Future for Small-Scale Low Carbon Generation: A consultation on a Smart Export Guarantee’ was released and leading consumer protection organisation HIES (The Home Insulation and Energy Systems Contractors Scheme) responded raising its concerns with the transition.

“HIES has the aim of protecting the consumer before, during and after the purchase of any small-scale renewable product. We want the high levels of consumer protection to remain, and consumers to receive a fair price for the electricity they generate." said Adrian Simpson, Director of Policy at HIES

He continued: "We feel that subsidies have been a success, removal of them we feel will have a monumental impact on the number of consumers who wish to have renewable energy solutions installed in their homes, not to mention the detrimental knock-on effect this will then have to the installers.”

How will this impact installers?

As we already understood the risks to consumers, we wanted to know what the issues would be for installers, so we invited installers nationwide to participate in a survey and provide their opinions in 2018. We had 88 responses to the survey, which highlighted some shocking statistics:

  1. 56% of respondents believe there will be a 75% or more decrease in sales
  2. 74% of respondents believe there will be a 50% or more decrease in sales
  3. 68% of respondents anticipate 50% or more job losses
  4. 70% of respondents believe 50% or more firms will go out of business
  5. 54% of respondents anticipate 75% or more decrease in consumers buying Solar PV
  6. 82% of respondents anticipate 50% or more decrease in consumers buying Solar PV
  7. 54% of respondents believe 75% or more firms will stop doing Solar

 

Sometimes opinions can say much more than statistics and here is a selection of what our members thought the effects would be when FITs finish in March 2019:

“It will reduce business.”

“Devastating loss to an already damaged industry. The FITs are huge incentives to help people choose a sustainable energy source to help us cut carbon emissions."

"Quality installers will leave the industry and will bring cowboys into the industry, through lack of regulatory requirements as MCS will be defunct, putting homes at risk through poor installations and the use of unregulated equipment.”

“Further reduction in domestic retro-fit installations, and without any support the public will not understand 15-20-year payback periods unless they never plan to move home. Most installers will lose the additional business and lose well-qualified staff due to job losses.”

HIES are calling for:

  1. Clarity around tariffs. Will consumers easily be able to understand the tariffs and switch between them to get the best deal?
  2. A smooth transition between the Export Tariff and SEG, ideally without any regulatory gaps where installers can carry out.
  3. Increased competition for Microgeneration Generation Certification Scheme equivalence.

 


1 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/769601/The_future_for_small-scale_low-carbon_generation_SEG.pdf  

 

 

Are you considering joining HIES?
Call us on 0344 324 5242
Or complete our membership enquiry form

 

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Do you have a question?
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Or send an email to communications@hiesscheme.org.uk

HIES joins Flexi-Orb for Solar & Storage Solution

 

HIES Consumer Code is an industry-leading consumer protection scheme, whose vision is to ensure that all consumers are safe and protected.

Flexi-OrbIn order to fulfil this vision, HIES works with partners and supports various schemes and bodies that help to deliver consumer protection and safety in the home. In a post Feed in Tariff/Export Tariff world, and with the increasing demand for domestic energy storage HIES recognises the need for a robust Oversight Body to ensure that installers of Solar PV & Energy Storage products are properly regulated. As such, HIES has officially joined Flexi-Orb (Flexible Energy Oversight Registration Body) as it’s the best solution for installers, manufacturers and most importantly, consumers.

Ciaran Harkin, Group Operations Director of HIES commented:

“We have seen a major rise in solar PV coupled with energy storage systems being fitted in homes over the past few years. Consumers strive for self-sufficiency and a solution to the rising energy prices. We see a market in energy storage that could be exciting, but with all new emerging technology there is bound to be issues. We have protected over 5000 energy storage systems since 2013 we plan to continue to protect a lot more. Joining Flexi-Orb allows us to confidently say we can offer end to end consumer protection in the energy storage sector.”

 

Jake Pilkington, Co-Founder of Flexi-Orb commented:

“Solar PV supported by energy storage is a key home energy solution enabling consumers to reduce energy bills & carbon emissions, but if the sector is not protected from malpractices like mis-selling, then the sector will lose confidence from key stakeholders (consumers, finance lenders, UK Government, manufacturers etc), which will ultimately see the failure of the sector before it can gain awareness and market penetration. It is great to work with a consumer protection scheme like HIES to help achieve our overarching vision – all consumers safe & protected to enable zero carbon homes.”

 

What is Flexi-Orb?

Flexi-Orb will provide consumers with one point of entry, support, advice and guidance, plus access to approved installers and products; and we will help consumers to reduce their energy bills whilst ensuring they are protected from the start of the buying journey, through to the end of the guarantee period, delivering end to end consumer protection and safety.

 


 

 

Are you considering joining HIES?
Call us on 0344 324 5242
Or complete our membership enquiry form

 

-OR-

 

Do you have a question?
Call us on 0344 324 5242
Or send an email to communications@hiesscheme.org.uk

The Energy Performance Validation Scheme (EPVS) wins Business Innovation Award

HIES installers need not be afraid

The Energy Performance Validation Scheme (EPVS) won the Best Industry Innovation Award at this year’s Card & Payments ceremony, beating the likes of Amazon Pay, whilst showing that the sector is recognising what EPVS does and how it protects consumers buying renewables.

 

Best Industry Innovation

 

HIES, whose primary focus is leading the Renewable Energy Consumer Protection Industry, developed a solution in support of Ikano Bank to combat mis-selling in the renewable sector. EPVS was launched to give accurate, independent, impartial performance estimates on consumer quotations and contracts to prevent the mis-selling of renewable technology.

 

Mark Williams, Head of New Business at Ikano Bank, commented:

“It’s wonderful news that the EPVS scheme has been recognised by the Card & Payments Awards. At Ikano Bank, we see the potential in the Home Renewables market and are looking for partnerships to help homeowners live sustainably. Crucially, EPVS provides transparency and peace of mind for all involved – customers, retailers and us as lenders. The customer satisfaction rates speak for themselves: 100% since December 2017.”

 

David Lindsay, Director and Scheme Manager of EPVS, said:

“We’re delighted to get some external recognition of the Scheme. The Renewables industry was hit hard when finance lenders retreated from the market in 2015, and our aim was to bring lenders back. EPVS not only gives lenders and consumers’ confidence, it also supports the retailer as it gives them a really strong proposition at the point of sale.”

 

So, from HIES, it’s a massive well done to all involved. Great things come from great partnerships and this is testament to that. In a time of opportunity, change and uncertainty, it is great to see the role EPVS is playing in ensuring consumers are protected in the renewable sector. 

About EPVS

EPVS is a certification standard that validates the processes used by installers to ensure energy saving, generating and/or storage calculations and estimates for home energy products are accurate and valid. EPVS protects consumers from receiving overinflated figures from members when making a purchase by ensuring the contractual paperwork meets the certification standard. They also contact consumers by telephone to confirm they are receiving the documentation EPVS are validating, answering any of their questions, and giving the consumer confidence and peace of mind. 

More information on EPVS is available – How a membership to EPVS can help your business, and why consumers should use an EPVS member. Please call on 0330 0525 036, or email info@epvs.co.uk

 


 

 

Are you considering joining HIES?
Call us on 0344 324 5242
Or complete our membership enquiry form

 

-OR-

 

Do you have a question?
Call us on 0344 324 5242
Or send an email to communications@hiesscheme.org.uk

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