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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

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    • CommentAuthorNeil K
    • CommentTimeOct 4th 2007
    We will be putting in a heat pump into the new build & are looking round for suppliers & installers. Having looked into the whole issue of grants I see we need to use an accredited installer to claim the money back.

    All the accredited installers in the area charge more than the non-accredited ones, but I cannot actually see how this system serves the consumer.

    As far as I can see an installer needs to pay £1800 to be accredited. None of the money from any installation they do goes to the accrediting authority, so none of the price seems to be some sort of inspection charge to maintain their accredited status. Indeed there does not seem to be any quality check on the installations done by accredited installers before the grant payments are made. I know of atleast one installation done by an accredited installer that is defective, but there seems to be no means of getting it arbitrated upon, or accreditatio revoked.

    The £1800 seems to go to the BRE to help fund the low carbon buildings programme.

    I seem to be left with the impression that paying the £1800 gets an installer the right to be able to charge more for the installation and nothing more; well they also obviously go onto an 'favoured supplier' list, so getting more trade.

    Can someone please assure me that accreditation is more than just a case of writing out a cheque? What is the quality control process that means an accredited installer gets to keep their accreditation? Has anybody ever lost their accredited status through poor work?

    Finally: If I have mis-represented this then please say so.
    • CommentTimeOct 4th 2007 edited
    Under the old Clear Skies scheme newly registered installers had to provide 2 reference sites where they had carried out an installation. These owners received a mail questionaire from Clear Skies that asked them to certify that they were happy with the service they had received. (Of course you could argue that no installer would put forward a reference where they had messed up.)

    Under the new LCBP scheme installers are actually visited and inspected - both at their office and at one or more reference sites, before becoming accredited. The £1800, in part, pays for this extra cost. They are also subject to annual surveillance visits or extra inspections if complaints are received.

    The new complaints procedure could be very costly for installers - e.g. they have to pay travel and hotel costs for an LCBP inspector to visit and investigate any complaint.

    I think that some of these changes have doubtless contributed to the low number of installers who have registered for the LCBP scheme (only around 50% of Clear Skies installers so far, I understand).
    • CommentAuthorNeil K
    • CommentTimeOct 6th 2007

    Thanks for this, but can I just clarify something; Are you saying that inspections and/or surveillance visits only occur if there is a complaint?

    Also do you know whether there is any feedback sought from those who get the grants?

    • CommentTimeOct 6th 2007
    No, there are annual inspections. Extra surveillance visits are in response to complaints.

    Under Clear Skies owners were asked to complete a post-installation questionaire. I would expect that this is still the case under LCBP although I'm not sure.
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