News | Published on 18th Dec 2017

Voices of industry ignored as concerns mount over conflict of interest and red tape

Last week, a group of leading organisations representing the heating and plumbing industry wrote to Claire Perry, Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, over concerns regarding the controversial Each Home Counts (EHC) review.

The letter urges the minister to halt the EHC review.  It details how the voices of the industry have been ignored during the consultation process and raises concerns over the bodies in charge of the quality mark and possible conflicts of interest, as well as increased red tape burdens being placed on the industry. A few weeks ago, the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) secured exemptions, yet it is now clear the scheme is pretty much compulsory in all but name. Industry partners are equally concerned over the lack of transparency and accountability associated with this scheme.

Stewart Clements, Director of the Heating and Hot Water industry council (HHIC), said:

‘It is with sadness that we have signed the letter. We genuinely believed the EHC scheme was going to support consumers and help develop parts of the industry that do not give good value. Instead, industry believes it has been hi-jacked by groups with compromised objectives. That is why, reluctantly, we have agreed to sign the letter alongside our colleagues representing the broader heating industry and professionals who work in it and other leading organisations (APHC, CIPHE, IDHEE, SNIPEF). HHIC are worried about the lack of transparency within the Each Home Counts implementation board, and the potential impacts of this. We have been told countless times that the EHC is a scheme run for and by industry, but the lack of disclosure of minutes of meetings suggests otherwise.’

He added:

‘We are not criticising the scheme but how it is being run, there are solutions to the issues raised in the EHC report. We are already addressing many of them successfully, Of course, we always looking to improve what we do and are happy to take on board any suggestions to improve.”