The class of 2013

The class of 2013_1

2013 has the potential to be one of the most momentous years in recent memory for the heating and plumbing industry, and at the heart of it all will be the ever-reliable heating installer. Gareth Ash, Product Manager at Ariston, takes a look at the imminent arrival of the Green Deal.

Gold medals are so 2012! This year, shiny metal references should be focussed on one thing: the Golden Rule. Yes that’s right, the Green Deal has arrived, and if you believe the news streams coming out of Westminster, it might just be one of the most important initiatives the heating industry has ever seen.

Although the legal framework for the Green Deal has actually been in effect for over three months, it won’t be officially launched (at the time of writing) until 28 January 2013; after which time customers will be able to sign up to Green Deal financing packages, allowing them to pay for the work through a levy on their energy bills. And with repayments designed to be lower than the energy savings, customers should be able to benefit financially from taking out Green Deal packages – hence the ‘Golden Rule’.

So how will the Green Deal affect installers? Well a major part of the initiative is to remove the upfront cost of improving energy efficiency - including replacing boilers - so energy companies will be funding upgrades for homeowners up and down the country. Plus, with the added incentive of up to £270 cash back* for the householder, it’s likely to prove popular. However, being Gas Safe registered alone is not sufficient to allow businesses to operate under the Green Deal. So for installers who want to be involved, now is the time to contact a Green Deal accredited certification body.

The process will require certification to PAS 2030 in addition to current certificates of competence and Gas Safe registration. It’s also worth noting that installers will need to sign up to the Green Deal Code of Practice. This outlines a range of obligations around the conduct of Green Deal participants, such as selling and contracting, which overall will help maintain high standards of practice and protect consumers. Fortunately, the sensible decision has been made to include Gas Safe registration as an accepted method for demonstrating compliance with the gas safety elements of PAS 2030. However, it’s important to bear in mind that an installation company will still need to demonstrate its quality management systems and installation process requirements in order to be certified and approved for the Green Deal.

* Based on upgrading boiler to condensing gas boiler from non-condensing boiler or other