CompetentRoofer can now audit its members against the requirements of PAS 2030 and the Green Deal Code of Practice and register members as Green Deal Installers for roof insulation work, in addition to being able to self-certify that their roofing refurbishment work is compliant with Building Regulations (in England and Wales). This gives members the ability to undertake Green Deal and Energy Company Obligations (ECO) work in the coming years.
Managing Director of Kemper System, Harry Cowell, discusses the opportunities for contractors to benefit from the Green Deal……and the homework you need to do to ensure you’re well-placed to share those benefits since the Green Deal came into force at the end of January 2013.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll find it very annoying if you have to jump through hoops to prove that you’re good at the job you do every day. In an ideal world, you’d be able to prove that just by doing a good job and, for roofing contractors, the proof is right there in the way their finished roofs look and perform. Being successful, however, requires a level of pragmatism and sometimes it pays to see the bigger picture. For the roofing sector right now, the Green Deal and the opportunities it will bring to those who are prepared for it are the big picture goals that all contractors should have in their sights and that may mean investing in accreditation now in order to reap greater rewards over time.
Unless you’ve been overseas or under a bush for the past year, you’ve probably already heard of the Green Deal. In order to meet its Kyoto Protocol commitments, its own targets for sustainable buildings and the need to drive down energy consumption and reduce fuel poverty, the Government is bringing in the Green Deal to help fund improvements to both commercial and domestic properties. Through the scheme, building owners or occupiers can have their property assessed to find out what improvements would help to reduce the building’s energy consumption and they will be offered a grant to carry out the work which will be repayable through their energy bills. It’s a scheme that the energy companies have all signed up to through the ECO (Energy Companies Obligation) and one which will be win/win for the end user as they will benefit from a more energy-efficient property while being guaranteed that the repayments will be no greater than the cost of the energy that they have saved.
As far as the roofing sector is concerned, the big opportunity is in insulation, particularly in the commercial sector where energy-inefficient flat roofed commercial buildings can be upgraded quickly and simply with the installation of a warm roof system. The Government announced in November that it is to spend £2.9 million on an awareness campaign for Green Deal, alerting any commercial property owners or tenants who are not already aware of how Green Deal works to the opportunity for upgrading their premises. While many such office and industrial units currently fall below building regulation standards of insulation, there is currently no obligation to upgrade unless the roof is being refurbished for another reason. However, that is all set to change with the Energy Act 2011 making it unlawful from April 2018 to rent out a house or business premise that does not reach a minimum energy efficiency rating. The Green Deal provides landlords with a financial incentive to upgrade now, and that incentive, particularly for Landlords whose tenants will fund the repayments, will create a very dynamic marketplace with high demand for new warm roof installations.
So, it’s good news for building owners and occupiers, good news for the environment and good news for roofing contractors……isn’t it? Actually, while the owners, occupiers and environment are unequivocally set to benefit, roofing contractors could find that they miss out if they do not ensure that they get their house in order. To reduce the possibility of cowboy builders cashing in or unscrupulous building owners accessing funding for work that hasn’t really been carried out, the Government is putting accreditation at the heart of the Green Deal scheme.
Building owners and occupiers will only be able to access a Green Deal ‘plan’ following a Green Deal assessment which will outline the improvements that could be made to their property to enhance its energy efficiency. These assessments will be carried out by qualified and authorised Green Deal advisors and the end user will then be able to access funding in line with their recommendations. In the same way, the contractors brought in to carry out work linked to any Green Deal plan must have approved status and for the roofing sector this means gaining accreditation from the Government-authorised ‘CompetentRoofer’ scheme.
Open to roofing contractors based in England or Wales the CompetentRoofer scheme was designed to enable registered members to self-certify that their work complies with building regulations, avoiding the need for building control inspections and reassuring customers about the quality of the work. The scheme has been an important step forward in underpinning quality roofing installations and many contractors have already recognised the commercial benefits of being registered with a credible scheme like this: it can offer a distinct competitive advantage, especially at a time when budgets are tighter and purchasing decisions are more keenly considered. However, the fact that contractors have to be thoroughly inspected before joining the scheme and are then re-inspected at regular intervals to remain a member seems to have discouraged some companies from joining. While I completely understand that jumping through hoops to demonstrate that you’re good at what you do can be frustrating, the fact that only CompetentRoofer members will be eligible for any Green Deal funded work must surely now make it a much higher priority. In a marketplace that has suffered from projects being cancelled or postponed due to financial constraints, the fact that there will be financial incentives available means that there’s likely to be a significant growth in the number of contracts available; Precluding yourself from the possibility of winning that work because you haven’t registered as a CompetentRoofer simply doesn’t make sense.
In addition to the inspections – one to qualify for membership and twice per year thereafter - there is a fee attached to joining the CompetentRoofer scheme, which currently equates to £1,122 in the first year and £648 per year thereafter. While this translates to a significant time and cash investment, when offset against the potential increase in business from both Green Deal and inclusion on the CompetentRoofer contractor database, it’s actually a small price to pay for a big business advantage.
Increasing Your Options
The debate continues to rumble on about Green Deal, what it will mean for homeowners and businesses, how far it will improve the environment and what benefits it will have for the economy. Only time will tell on any of that. For now, only one thing is for certain: Green Deal is coming and you’ve got to be in it to win it!
For more information on CompetentRoofer visit www.competentroofer.co.uk
Visit the Government's website for more information on The Green Deal
On the 12th July it was announced that Competent Person Scheme, CompetentRoofer, had been fully audited by UKAS and has become an ‘Accredited Body’ for Green Deal and ECO work. It is another significant step for the roofing industry, since the scheme was appr oved in October 2010.
The approval means that CompetentRoofer can now audit its members against the requirements of PAS 2030 and the Green Deal Code of Practice and register members as Green Deal Installers for roof insulation work, in addition to being able to self-certify that their roofing refurbishment work is compliant with Building Regulations (in England and Wales).
CompetentRoofer members who register will also be able to display the Green Deal Installer Mark on their vans and promotional materials. Members will, therefore, be well placed to undertake Green Deal and Energy Company Obligations (ECO) work in the coming years.
CompetentRoofer is already seeing an increase in the number of projects demand ing ‘PAS 2030 certification’; we expect this to increase and in time perhaps becoming the norm.
The Chief Executive of CompetentRoofer, Ray Horwood said, “This is a big step forward and potentially a huge business advantage for companies in the future, as homeowners, social housing, and businesses, seek to reduce the cost of their energy bills and comply with legislation.
CompetentRoofer is open to all roofing companies which allows them, in one neat package, to compete for future sustainability projects.”
For more information about becoming a Green Deal/ECO Installer accredited through CompetentRoofer call 020 7448 3189 or via the website www.competentroofer.co.uk