Non-compliance culture is jeopardising targets

Widespread non-compliance with legislation designed to address the twin challenges of sustainability and carbon reduction is already jeopardising the nation’s ability to meet its long-term environmental targets, according to HVCA president Graham Manly.

“Non-compliance is becoming a culture – owing to lack of enforcement, the paltry penalties being imposed, and the absence of perceived benefit,” Mr Manly told his audience at the Association’s Annual Luncheon.

This problem is being compounded by the proliferation of certification schemes and bodies – especially in relation to the new technologies which are requiring many companies to undergo multiple accreditation at considerable cost in both time and money.

Mr Manly added that the final negative was that, as a direct result of competition between certification bodies, the maintenance of common criteria was being compromised: “The certification of people not fully competent, and the pressure to accept the lowest charges for energy assessments, are producing valueless energy performance certificates (EPCs), especially for home-owners, and will also lead to superficial air conditioning inspections.”

“It is little wonder, then, that clients remain sceptical about the need for compliance. Of course, enforcement is only part of the solution – but, without it, there is no chance at all of making the regulations stick.

“Whatever reservation we may have had about CORGI – especially in
its latter years – the fact remains that it was the rigour and vigilance
of its inspection arrangements, along with the sanctions that could be imposed in the event of non-compliance that ensured the effectiveness of the regime.

“If we are really determined to secure our future, we must invest wisely thus ensuring that personal, corporate and public expenditure achieves its objectives.

“This outcome will require practical and effective regulation, appropriate and achievable standards, a fully competent workforce – and a robust certification scheme that gives customers confidence as well as value.”

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