A blow to the industry

“The premature scrapping of the Low Carbon Building Programme by the newly formed coalition government has sparked a number of comments from the renewable technologies industry but one important point appears to have been largely overlooked.” Says Neil Afram, Managing Director of the Daikin Distributors, Space Airconditioning plc.

“Despite heat pump technology being mature and the leading manufacturers already complying with stringent industry standards and best practices, the previous government decreed that any grant funding available via the LCBP was to be conditional upon the eligible heat pumps being MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) certified and for the installations to be carried out by MCS certified installers. This took over two years of consultation.” Mr Afram continued.

“Manufacturers and installers wishing to participate in the programme to encourage the wider deployment of renewable heat pump technology became obliged to apply for MCS and to pay fees. Fees that turned out, at best, to be grossly underestimated if not seriously misrepresented, but was a start for some kind of guidelines to promote LZC (low to zero carbon) technologies.

“At a time of significant economical difficulties, many manufacturers and installers have dug deep to invest in MCS, the only real incentive being the LCBP grant scheme. Now this has been prematurely scrapped those manufacturers and installers are left feeling seriously short-changed and would surely be justified in demanding compensation? The industry, installers, developers, housing associations and most importantly end users now have nothing tangible to encourage the use of renewable technologies. This decision could put us back at least three years. How can any government claim that they care for the environment when they play politics with tax-payers money in this way?”

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