The Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) has warned that the new PAS 2035 standard could leave the vulnerable without heating and will impede the professionals trying to do their job.

New and replacement boilers are to be plagued with burdensome administration and red tape, including simple boiler swaps, under PAS 2035, a new specification for the energy retrofit of domestic buildings.

Stewart Clements, Director at the HHIC, said: “With up to five ‘professionals’ required for every installation and loopholes which mean that they don’t have to actually be qualified. Coupled with bureaucratic delays that could leave vulnerable people without heating and hot water, the proposals announced today are yet another example of unnecessary burden.”

He added: “PAS 2035 offers no demonstrable benefit to industry or consumers above the existing status quo. In most instances, the presumed additional red tape would be a detriment to both industry and consumers. Particularly those having boilers installed or replaced under government-backed retrofit schemes such as ECO which aims to tackle fuel poverty in the UK. Those eligible under the scheme are often vulnerable and unable to afford the measures without assistance.

"These new rules may increase costs, create confusion and not provide any additional, meaningful safeguards to consumers. It would also, almost certainly, increase installation time, leaving those most in need potentially without heat or hot water while they wait for the ‘boxes to be ticked’.”

“The British Standards group responsible for PAS 2035 accept that the heating industry has been overlooked throughout the drafting process. Yet offered no delay on publication dates while industry feedback. Meaning that once again industry has been ignored. In addition, the group will only reconvene and review PAS 2035 19 months after publication - February 2021.

"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.

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