We've had the following question through from a CAN member who would rather remain anonymous.
One LA has been affected by recent changes to CERT funding which has meant that some Able To Pay customers who thought they were going to get free LI/CWI now have to pay for it.
Has anyone had the same experience?
I've also had the following replies emailed through for posting on this forum:
We have in Gosport, some of our installs were just cancelled outright on 27th November. When the householder rang to find out where the installers were they were told that the funding had ceased and there would be no more ‘free’ insulation.
Our social housing programme finishes today with no more CERT funding being made available.
Insulate Hampshire (Yorkshire Energy Services) are still taking referrals, not through the Insulate Hampshire scheme but through a national company. Not through Scottish Power who have provided the funding to date, although all this means is they are adding the referral data to the Insulate Hampshire stats.
- Carol White
The answer is YES. Some schemes started charging for ATP customers a few weeks ago, and E.ON abruptly withdrew funding at the end of November. As of two weeks ago, we are no longer able to offer free insulation to ATP customers on our CosyDevon scheme - prices are £99 CWI, £149 loft <60mm and £199 loft >60mm. This is not good and the CERT providers ought to be brought to account for this. Just because the CERT rules and deadlines have been relaxed (they now have to June) they are no longer so keen to get customers - it has become a sellers market. At first I thought the news from Ofgem was good, as it gave us breathing space to mop up some more insulation customers before ECO/Green Deal, which is good. However, the downside is now becoming apparent.
- Colin Anderson
Still able to offer a fee insulation service but limited to one installer for private - Council all work completed on our stock. We do a small number to revisit the not ins - these will be looked at in new year now under new contract.
- Paul Maplethorpe
We've also had the following anonymous reply from another member:
tell them to go to the papers and shame the company into obliging.
contact the chief executive first and offer to pull the story if he obliges.
pressure is the only way they respond. If bad news- more expensive than a few rolls of insulation.
Thanks to everyone who's responded to this.
Feel free to post further, or email me if you'd prefer to post anonymously.
CAN National Secretariat
Thanks to all of you who have let me know your experiences on this.
I've had too many replies to verify with every one of you whether you're happy for me to publish your name with you're comment so I've included most of the following comments anonymously.
Just to clarify and correct some of the statements below
1) CERT (and CESP) have NOT been extended and still need to be completed by 31st December 2012
2) Ofgem have stated they expect any Supplier who believes that they will not be completeing by 31st December 2012 to continue into 2013, but this will NOT count against their targets just be considered when enforcement action is taken.
3) E.on (and I guess others) withdrew their offers into the market upon full completion of the obligation. We have now fully completed CERT and CESP and have moved onto ECO. We are still accepting anything that is ECO compliant. Clearly this is a natural event with the rules set up as they have been that AtP and PG clients outside of CSCO areas were always going to have this transistion as Suppliers completed.
I would suggest that you advise Ofgem directly of any incidents that you have where funding has been withdrawn. They will be know where this is a Supplier completing or just “playing games with the market”
Happy to take any questions and clarify
Hambleton District Council was previously covering the top-up and excess meterage charges so that all insulation was free for everyone, even this type of work. However, HDC has now run out of its CERT reserves (and is unable to put in any more funding of its own in the current financial climate) so able to pay customers are now having to again pay the £99 top-up or excess meterage charge themselves. Anyone who is unable to pay this charge is being placed on a list to be kept informed re. ECO funding, should extra funds to make insulation free to all come available again in future.
The only other change to CERT funding we have experienced is that we were previously advertising polybead insulation for narrow or stone-cavity walls with a 50% discount, however this discount has now ceased.
Hambleton District Council
I can confirm Lancashire Insulation Scheme (covers 12 District and 2 Unitary authorities) had funding pulled around the 13-15th November.
Broadland & South Norfolk are both in a similar position – I imagine several councils across the east of England are
Not aware of it in Stockton.
Yes, we've had a couple of examples. In one, I've agreed to pay what CERT was going to fund as a one-off, good will gesture.
We’ve had the same problem – in 2 cases that we know of they were surveyed and offered free insulation, and then heard nothing for a couple of weeks, and then when they chased the installing company, they we told that they have to pay. (we did intervene, and told the installing company that they should do it for free, and they are!)
Have had able to pay people who thought they were going to get an amount who have they found out they weren’t going to be offered so much funding all due to amount being paid for Carbon points changing
I suspect that is with regard a CERT scheme here in Devon that a number of LA’s have endorsed.
CERT funding was withdrawn by the energy company and they would not cover funding for those about to receive installs despite the FREE offer being confirmed to the customer several weeks earlier.
The situation left either the LA and/or installer company funding the cost.
In our case we had no funding to put in and the installer chipped in from their own pot as far as possible.
For those ATP customers still with a charge it was either pay the new price or cancel.
PDC still has A to D funding and will also fund privately rented properties for loft and cavity wall insulation.
From an installer point of view we have had levels of funding reduced on jobs that have been completed and submitted within the timescales requested at least three times over the last two weeks. The majority of installers including ourselves have made every attempt to maintain levels of funding to schemes but with the best will in the world this became impossible to the atp sector at the end of last week when funding was virtually halved from all funders. Some of large uk supermarket uk wide schemes were withdrawn overnight with installers told to just ring and cancel the work. Most funders are looking at 1:1 ratios on atp work matching with pg or spg customers. I have not come across a funder who will consider social funding at the moment. The promised smooth transition is not happening with many installers making high levels of staff redundant.
I would ask any authority with schemes to try work with their installers and put some pressure somehow onto the funders and ofgem / government to try view the transition to green deal and eco with some common sense.
Thanks to everyone who has responded.
CAN National Secretariat
"The current position most installers are In is that the funding for cert ATP as been reduced by £175 on all works with immediate effect with no time to complete the work on our book so most installers are having to call all of their customers and cancel the install or ask the customer to pay for part of the install."
Below are some more experiences members have emailed through for inclusion.
Thanks again everyone.
CAN National Secretariat
We have had problems with one contract.
The intermediate made the mistake.
They could not fund what we agreed to and then tried charging my customers.
The scheme involved clearing lofts and insulating them and it went very wrong.
We have also had this experience. Any further news regarding this would be most helpful.
Yes this has happened, resulting in some very disgruntled residents.
I have experienced issues with the ending of the CERT funding and uncertainties as to whether or not there would be a charge.
As well as the following from Victoria Williamson:
I’m not able to post but would like to contribute the following post if you could add it for me?
Had a phone call from a resident in Grantham who had been contacted by a private firm called ‘Wellwarm’ early December 2012. They are not in receipt of a benefit but may be over 70, I did not get age details.
Wellwarm advised they could offer free insulation through government funding. A survey was arranged for early January 2013, and was subsequently carried out. At the survey appointment the surveyor still advised the insulation would be free, and an install appt was booked for 10/1/2013.
On 8/1/2013 the resident received a call advising they would need to pay £320. I confirmed with the resident that the funding has finished and that unfortunately there may be a charge going forward.
My concern was that £320 seemed steep for a top up, and isn’t there an issue with being still told it would be free in January, when the company must have known it would not be?
- Victoria Williamson
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