MP Barclay and Wisbech company director team up to call for less bureaucracy for renewable energy firms
PUBLISHED: 14:10 11 February 2014 | UPDATED: 14:10 11 February 2014
An MP has called for an end to the “unreasonable amount of bureaucracy” facing renewable energy firms.
MP Steve Barclay launched his campaign after meeting with Kevin Roberts, company director of Wisbech based Evergreen Ventures Ltd, who provide solar panels, heat pumps and solar thermal technology.
Small businesses are forced to comply with both the Micro-Generation Certification Scheme (MCS) and the Green Deal scheme when installing energy-saving technologies like solar panels and heat pumps.
The annual MCS accreditation costs more than £5,000 for Mr Roberts firm of 15 staff, together with further compliance costs from the Green Deal. Both schemes are supervised by the Department for Energy and Climate Change.
Mr Barclay has submitted a number of Parliamentary Questions and also written to the minister at the Department for Energy and Climate Change to ask why efforts to simplify the schemes’ application processes are not being looked at.
Mr Barclay said: “It is immensely frustrating that small businesses find themselves confronted with an unreasonable amount of bureaucracy, most of which serves no practical purpose for the customer.
“Whenever they install an energy-efficient technology such as a heat pump they have to fill out different sets of forms depending on how the job is being paid for, and some of these forms have changed three times over the last 18 months.
“Politicians of all parties say they want to cut red tape. Here we have a real life example of duplicate regulation that is of no practical benefit to the public.
“The minister needs to step up to the challenge and streamline the rules.
“What matters is whether your heat pump or solar panel has been well installed, not whether the same information has been submitted to two different bodies both operating under rules from the same department. We need to get this fixed.”
Mr Roberts added: “The level of bureaucracy that we face in complying with the various green schemes, both administered by the same government department, is equivalent to driving a car with the hand brake on.
“This is a chance to really streamline the paperwork process for both schemes so that the wider benefits of installing energy efficient products are felt by as many people as possible and in turn helping more householders reduce their long term running costs.”