News | Published on 16th Apr 2018

Rushed Quality Mark proposals riddled with issues, warns leading industry body

The Heating and Hot Water Industry Council (HHIC) has responded to a consultation on Each Home Counts’ Quality Mark with grave concerns. The proposals leave many questions unanswered and create a multitude of new ones.

The consultation, launched over the Easter weekend, providing little time to fully respond, is incredibly vague in nature - the lack of cost analysis and an accompanying impact statement, offer little opportunity for genuine, meaningful industry engagement. The scheme hopes to run alongside ECO, yet Trust Mark admit it will not be ready in time, leading to concerns surrounding the haphazard nature in which this framework is being constructed. 

Stewart Clements, Director of the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council, said:

‘The vision of Each Home Counts ‘is for a future where ‘rogue’ traders are effectively eliminated because of the widespread recognition of the Framework as the quality mark to look out for.’- a statement that is deeply offensive, inferring that all engineers without the quality mark are somehow substandard.

We are in full support of anything that raises industry standards, consumer awareness and makes it harder for the unregistered cowboys to trade. However, what the industry does not need is a burdensome piece of red tape - heating professionals are already highly accredited. Heating installers work hard to gain accreditation, and there are already many tools in place to indicate quality– Gas Safe Register, PAS 2030 and the Competent Persons Scheme to name just a few.

“Gas Safe registered engineers also use Benchmark, a scheme that operates with the support of boiler manufacturers and also provides a checklist for a safe and reliable installation.

He added:

“The scheme outlined in the consultation offers no demonstrable benefit to industry above the existing status quo. In most instances the presumed additional red tape would be a detriment to both industry and consumers. It would increase costs, create confusion and not provide any additional, meaningful safeguards to consumers. It would also, almost certainly, increase installation costs.

What we would like to see is more support and funding for existing schemes and the enforcement of them.

You can read our consultation response in full here.