18 June 2010

Scrapped LCBP grant scheme 'short-changes' industry

THE scrapping of the Low Carbon Building Programme has left many installers who had invested in the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) feeling 'seriously short-changed', according to Neil Afram, md of Daikin distributors Space Airconditioning.
Scrapped LCBP grant scheme
The Low Carbon Building Programme provided grants of up to 50% of the cost of a heat pump project to MCS certified equipment and installers.

'Manufacturers and installers wishing to participate in the programme to encourage the wider deployment of renewable heat pump technology, became obliged to apply for MCS and to pay fees,' says Neil Afram. These fees turned out, at best, to be grossly underestimated if not seriously misrepresented,' he added.

'At a time of significant economic difficulties, many manufacturers and installers have dug deep to 'invest' in MCS, the only real incentive being the LCBP grant scheme. Now this has been prematurely scrapped those manufacturers and installers are left feeling seriously short-changed and would surely be justified in demanding compensation?'

Neil Afram's concerns echo many from across the industry. Last month the Heat Pump Association wrote to secretary of State Chris Huhne highlighting its concerns that scrapping the scheme put efforts to achieve a renewable and low CO2 economy in doubt.

'The industry, installers, developers, housing associations and most importantly end users now have nothing tangible to encourage the use of renewable technologies,' added Neil Afram. 'This decision could put us back at least three years. How can any government claim that they care for the environment when they play politics with tax-payers money in this way?' he added.

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