It is an interesting time at the moment within government with many ministers being replaced with other ministers, who of course have different thoughts and opinions on taxes and energy compared to their predecessors.
The one that is particularly impacting upon our industry is of course, energy, and to help move things along with net-zero targets is the newly appointed Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Grant Shapps, assisted by a number of colleagues within the governmental department.
What does this mean for installers?
Politics I’m sure gets rather boring for installers, and they probably aren’t totally aware on how politicians can impact their day to day working life.
One of these issues at the moment is of course the Energy Security Bill and within a few days of taking up his position, it was decided to put the Bill on pause and make use of the parliamentary time to push through the freeze on gas and oil prices, which makes sense as we are entering the Autumn/Winter period and now more than ever homeowners need reassurance that they can heat their homes this forthcoming Winter.
Within the Energy Security Bill there are several items and details which will impact heating engineers as the years progress.
One of the items within this was the market based mechanism proposal, which is a proposal that places an obligation on boiler manufacturers to sell a quota of heat pumps and if they fail to achieve this quota will be able to buy trading credits, or will be fined, either of which is a financial penalty placed upon the manufacturer.
What will change
The Energy Security Bill is unusual as it distorts somewhat the natural markets, we’re used to in that it compels to try and get further involved with the consumer, which of course up until now manufacturers have had little influence or contact with the householders. It is instead that manufacturers primarily seek advice from the installer, and they are the single point of contact.
We are optimistic that this new proposal is one of the areas that the new ministerial team will look at and consider whether these plans are practical and if it is an artificial distortion of the market.
Much of the net-zero pledges that have previously been talked about in various documents seem to be on hold whilst they are being appraised as the new administration is now more focused on energy security, cost of living, costs to consumers and UK jobs.
Therefore, when this gets picked up again this year, it will be interesting to see if what policy has been outlined currently goes forward in its current form.
In summary, the political situation of the government has been up in the air for a couple of months now, with much of the problem coming from criticisms and attaches from one party to the other. We are now really all awaiting a clear decision and outcome on what the future of the industry will look like, how we will be affected by increased energy prices and where plans are taking us towards meeting net-zero objectives.
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