New document has been launched to address lack of any formal or streamlined approach to ensure new HVAC products can be approved for use under a range of government incentives
The Sustainable Energy Association (SEA) has partnered with UK standards specialists to publish guidance for pushing innovative heating and energy efficiency products onto the market.
A major focus of the guidance is to set out some of the challenges manufacturers could face in having products recognized under a range of government incentives currently in place to subsidize low carbon systems.
The guide has been produced with assistance from the British Standards Institution (BSI), research specialists the BRE Group and TrustMark – a government-backed installer endorsement scheme.
Included in the guidance is advice around the PAS 2035/2030 guidance for retrofit projects and the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) used to predict the energy consumption of a building and its systems. These considerations are often mandatory requirements for having products recognized under government-funded schemes, the guidance noted.
No clear ‘signposts’
The SEA stated that there is no streamlined process or singular methodology available to businesses to ensure their products and innovations can be compatible with government subsidies for low carbon heat.
This lack of formal assistance from both the HVAC industry and the government makes it difficult for new systems to be approved for use with a range of programs such as the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) and Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF).
These incentives are highlighted as a major step for innovative HVAC products to gain wider market acceptance, according to the guidance authors.
One important challenge for HVAC manufacturers and specialists is that requirements to ensure products were eligible for these schemes can differ from program to programme.
The guidance stated: “For products to be installed under ECO, SHDF, HUG, and LAD schemes, installations must be completed by TrustMark Registered Businesses, and to PAS 2035/2030:2019 standards. MCS standards apply to low-carbon heating installed under those schemes.”
“However, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme only requires MCS standards, with no requirement for TrustMark or PAS 2035/2030.”
Jade Lewis, chief executive of the SEA, said the guidance aimed to offer practical assistance to the industry. This would help create a more straight forward means of ensuring systems are compatible and meet the standards requirements for low carbon heating incentives.
Ms Lewis said she hoped the document would ensure manufacturers and innovators of important new technologies were not missing out on being included on programs devised to decarbonise homes.
She said: “Not having a streamlined and well signposted methodology for businesses to utilize is something that needs to be addressed. We want to see more products certified and ready for energy efficiency schemes and we hope our tips will help those companies on their journey to entry into government-funded schemes.”
“However, much more support is needed, and we hope to work with government and industry to improve the process for future innovation that will help us deliver our ambitious UK carbon reduction targets.”
BRE director of Corporate Affairs Jane Goddard added that the decision to partner with TrustMark, the BSI, and the SEA would provide a clearer path for new products to meet the standards requirements of current market incentives.
“She said: “At the moment, manufacturers of energy efficient and low-carbon heating products face too many challenges getting their products into government schemes. This is stifling innovation in the industry which will be necessary if the UK is to meet its net zero ambitions.”
“The UK Government has been commendably ambitious in its bid to reach net zero, but with contribution from industry crucial to meeting such targets, product manufacturers will need a clearer understanding of how best to work with government to help deliver on its targets.”