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What accreditation do you need to become an ECO installer?

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When the UK began taking steps to reduce its carbon emissions and to improve the energy efficiency of some of the most poorly rated homes and properties, the government introduced a number of key initiatives.

This included tools for reporting and measurement, such as Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) and also vehicles for the funding and delivery of energy efficiency measures, including the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and now defunct Green Deal scheme.

The Energy Company Obligation applies to all large energy providers with over 250,000 domestic customers, or which deliver over 400 gigawatt hours of electricity / 2,000 gigawatt hours of gas.

Under ECO, any qualifying energy supplier is legally obligated to deliver energy efficiency measures to some of the country’s most vulnerable and hard to treat homes.

To promote confidence and ensure the scheme is properly regulated and that measures are delivered correctly, minimum standards must be achieved by all installers before they are allowed to deliver ECO energy efficiency measures.

That’s where PAS 2030 comes in.

What is PAS 2030?

PAS 2030 is an accreditation that contractors need to hold in order to access funding for installing energy efficiency measures. It sets out the requirements that all installers must meet, in order to ensure that works carried out under ECO are completed properly.

PAS 2030 must be attained for the organisation, as well as for each measure that will be installed. It was created by the British Standards Institute and addresses all areas of installation, including: installation controls, equipment, inspections, handover and correction action procedures.

The main requirement of any contractor wishing to become an ECO installer, is that they have a Quality Assurance process in place. This system needs to meet over 30 requirements detailed within the British Standard PAS 2030 document.

Certification

The certification process is split into two main parts:

  • Assessment of systems – This entails a detailed assessment of quality management processes to check that operating processes support the installation of energy efficiency measures via a robust management system, as outlined by the requirements of PAS 2030. This assessment will normally be carried out in the office.
  • Assessment of installed measures – This exercise is to establish whether the installed energy efficiency measures conform to the specification provided and also comply with all relevant building regulations. This assessment will be carried out on site.

Exemptions

To make it easier and faster for installers to gain certification, there are some exemptions in place for organisations that are already registered on the Gas Safe Register (although they will still need to demonstrate a suitable QMS) and which are part of the Microgeneration Certification Scheme.

What type of measures are provided under ECO?

From 1 April 2017, the list of measures covered by ECO includes:

  • Insulation – solid wall, cavity wall, loft
  • Boiler replacements
  • Electric storage heater replacement and repair
  • Heating controls
  • District heating connections
  • Air source heat pumps
  • Ground source heat pumps
  • Biomass boilers
  • Solar PV

For more information about getting accreditation to become an ECO installer, visit the British Standards Institute (BSI) website, or view the comprehensive guidance made available for installers by Ofgem.

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