This post will focus on the DECC’s Home Energy Management Strategy (HEMS) for the provision of Home Energy Advice, as there’s been a reet cock-up recently which this document has been touted to address (See Brian Scannell’s coverage for more on the confusion: HEA RIP, or rising HEMS?).
Universal advice service
The Government intends to establish a so-called universal advice service to the public, accessible via “independent, high quality generic advice through national delivery of a web and telephone-based advice service.”
City and Guilds 6176
It stipulates that telephone advisors must be qualified to a minimum standard:
This will be a City and Guilds 6176, or qualifications being developed that fully reflect units 1-5 of the National Occupational Standard (NOS) for Home Energy Advisers.
It says the Government plans to develop services capable of meeting the advice demands “through to 2013.”
Energy Performance Certificates
By the end of this year “a web-based tool that breaks down the information behind an EPC” will be launched.
Free to use, the tool will allow people with EPCs to access their household data and model custom packages of energy efficiency improvements, ranging from draught-proofing to new boiler installations. The tool will calculate the potential C02 and fuel cost savings.
The CLG published a consultation today on extending the scope of Energy Performance Certificates (and DECs). See Consultation: Making better use of Energy Performance Certificates and data.
The EPC and Home Energy Advice
On the role of EPCs with respect to home energy advice, the HEMS document says “where an up to date EPC is in place, we expect it would form the basis for the advisers’ survey.”
But then adds that (another) consultation, later this year, will be needed to iron-out detailed proposals on the HEA package which will build on the existing CERT and CESP measures; including the use of EPCs.
We will learn from this activity in developing a revised specification for future advice packages. We want to ensure that these provide an effective platform for householders to consider and adopt major changes to their home.
Revised National Occupational Standards (NOS) for HEAs
It says that “recent changes” to units one to five of the NOS for Home and Community Energy Advisers will be developed into qualifications that “fully reflect this standard [the NOS] as the passport to conducting all HEAs in future.”
Builders and plumbers providing advice?
In identifying trigger points to engage with homeowners, it suggestively mentions a “potential for trades people to advise when [they visit] homes to undertake plumbing or building work,” as well as during the installation of smart meters, which are to be rolled-out to every home by 2020.
A single accreditation framework
We propose to work towards a single accreditation framework that can encompass both HEAs under future Government-backed schemes, and the other sources of advice provision that exist.
Not sure what to make of that, but it does seem to lean towards a central, Government-funded, accreditation scheme, doesn’t it?
However, it further adds: “This framework will need to be flexible – perhaps on a modular, menu basis – to encompass the different levels of advice that are provided by different organisations in different circumstances.”
So we are left none-the-wiser, hmph.
More background on HEMS: Overview: Household Energy Management Strategy (HEMS).
Are you any the wiser?
Of course much of this will eventually drop into the hands of the next Government.
With swingeing cuts in public spending expected, and the pledged abolishment of many quangos (should the Tories win power), it remains to be seen how much of this strategy will survive in practice.
Reply #1 on : Tue March 02, 2010, 19:19:46