Our industry has seen many evolutionary changes over the last few years. First it was Window Energy Ratings (WERs). Then Green Deal in October 2012/January 2013 – which turned out to be a massive flop for our industry at the very least. And finally and most recently, CE Marking, which came into effect on the 1st of this month.

I think it is fair to say that many of us have had significant doubts about the accuracy, legitimacy and effectiveness of all three of these new changes. And I also think it is fair to say that many of you out there think that when it comes to Green Deal and CE Marking, they are totally unnecessary and a total waste of time. They give no advantage to our industry whatsoever.

However, there is a very select group of people/companies that do win from these sorts of initiatives. These winners are the testers. There were testers when it came to suppliers getting their energy rated certificates sorted. There were testers when it came to companies wanting to become official Green Deal providers. And there were testers when it came to suppliers getting their CE Marking documents sorted. Where there is a test, there is a payment. The companies and people carrying out these various tests will have pocketed very well indeed out of our industry over the last few years.

This may be a little hard to swallow for some. Businesses are being forced repeatedly to pay out  for documentation for new schemes every couple of years, with seemingly no benefit to them at all. Times are still tough out there and I am sure that companies would rather have not had to comply with these new rules so that they can save their valuable cash. Whilst this seems unjust, blame cannot be put on those doing the testing. At the end of the day, it is their job, and they need to earn a living too. If blame and anger is to be directed at anyone, it should be at those forcing through these over the top initiatives and directives which are forcing so much unnecessary change. This then will be our UK Government, the EU Parliament and those at the very top of the industry.

What I would like to see in the future is some proper objectional investigations into whatever industry-wide changes are being proposed next. For example, with doubt being cast about the solar gain factor in the WER scheme, would it have not been prudent to REALLY investigate the advantages and applications of U-values instead? The industry considers U-values as more accurate and more supportive of them. So would it not have been worth asking the industry if they would have been more positive about rolling out U-values to the consumer instead of WER’s? I’m not saying that this would have been better. But at the very least I’m saying that our biggest industry bodies should have asked the industry what they thought about the alternative options.