A report commissioned in 2014 to analyse the supply chain in remote rural and island areas of Scotland. The report, funded by the Scottish Government, was partly in response to feedback suggesting householders in these areas may struggle to get certified installers and assessors to carry out work on their properties. It was also to identify what the key barriers were for companies in these areas, in particular barriers to certification. The research covered the following local authority areas:
- Scottish Borders
- Western Isles
- Shetland Islands
- Orkney Islands
Interviews with installers and assessors both certified (MCS and Green Deal) and non-certified, and householders with experience of installing, or seeking to install, energy efficiency and renewables technologies were carried out as part of the research.
- There are more MCS installers than Green Deal Approved installers in these areas.
- Micro-sized businesses (six employees or fewer) are common in these areas: more than half of the businesses surveyed are this size. Given their size, these businesses can find it more difficult to adapt to changing government schemes.
- Non-certified businesses have still to be convinced to get involved with this market. Assessors think it’s not a key business area and installers see no market or expect no return.
- There’s a significant lack of awareness of financial support schemes among the supply chain, particularly for the Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland (HEEPS) and the Resources Efficient Scotland (RES) SME loans.
- Administration and paperwork relating to training and certification are barriers for businesses.
- The Green Deal Orb website and tools are perceived to be barriers both for householders and businesses.
- The customer journey is confusing for householders, with too many agencies involved and too many steps to go through.
- Identify and promote clear reasons for businesses to become involved with the energy efficiency and renewables market.
- Raise awareness of financial support schemes and develop routes for SMEs to get involved with these schemes.
- Develop targeted support and training for businesses and deliver them in these areas.
- Work with MCS, BSI and GD Orb to explore routes to reduce paperwork.
- Make improvements to the GD Orb website so that it more accurately reflects where GD Approved companies operate.
We will share the key findings coming out of this report with key stakeholders including trade bodies, Green Deal Orb and other key organisations involved with the supply chain. We will then seek to work with these organisations to act on the recommendations coming out of the report.
The Scottish Government have already acted on some of these recommendations through the new HEEPS cashback and loans scheme. The recommendations will also help shape the Scottish Government funded Sustainable Energy Supply Chain programme’s activities in 2015-16.