What can PCA members do under the scheme?
The Green Homes Grant is set to be a welcome boost to the building and property preservation industry. Many homeowners and private landlords will be looking to take advantage of the Green Homes Grant vouchers over the coming months. The promises of free cash to help with the cost of energy saving measures, or improvements in their home will be irresistible.
As a member of the Property Care Association, you are in the enviable position of automatically qualifying as an approved TrustMark contractor. But what exactly does this mean for you and how can you get involved with the scheme?
PCA Members’ role in the Green Homes Grant Scheme
Whilst the primary/core services covered by the grant, such as retrofit insulation solutions, do not fall directly within your scope of work, the good news for PCA members is there are plenty of opportunities for you to use your specialist expertise to support main contractors and homeowners themselves.
The latest information from TrustMark and the Government reveals that the following services can be included under the scheme, as long as they are part of an installation of one of the core services:
Conducting Pre-installation Surveys
Your Association has been fundamental in gaining widespread recognition and acceptance of the ‘fabric first’ and ‘no insulation without ventilation‘ approach (taken from Peter Rickaby and PAS2035) to help homeowners avoid unintended consequences of improperly installed, or unsuitable insulation measures. The PCA will endeavour to continue to promote these ideas and we would encourage all PCA members to do the same.
Engaging with Homeowners
For homeowners: promote pages on your website and other channels with relevant guidance, information and help and advice as to what homeowners can do to minimise future property problems with retrofit insulation installation. Promote the concept of: ‘if in doubt, get it checked out!‘.
Offer cavity wall, roof and below floor pre-installation inspections and suggest co-ordinating with the potential main contractor(s) they were considering using. This demonstrates great customer service and helps to potentially minimise costs for the customer.
Members are encouraged to use any and all of the resources created by the PCA in order to assist in your own promotional activities.
Helping Retrofit Insulation Installers
For retrofit insulation contractors: Engage with them through different communication channels, i.e. telephone, emails, email campaigns, LinkedIn. Chat to them about ‘Fabric First‘. Start conversations that help reinforce that insulation should never be applied within or over defects in the underlying building fabric. Make them aware of YOUR expertise and consider offering ‘pre-installation/condition surveys’ that retrofit insulation contractors can market as part of their installation package.
Consider building ‘information guides’, offering free online guidance and training through online tools such as Zoom, and use resources to your advantage such as the recent PCA webinar on ‘Defects in Cavity Construction‘. The bottom line: make your local retrofit insulation specialist see you as the ‘go-to person‘ to help rectify these property problems!
Your specialist knowledge and diagnostic skills are assets that good insulation contractors will need. With that in mind, promote your expertise and ability to assist them and facilitate insulation work is very valuable.
Cavity Wall Tie Replacement & Structure Stabilisation
If you are a PCA member specialising in structural repairs, there is an opportunity to communicate with local retrofit insulation contractors about your ability to rectify essential structural problems prior to retrofit insulation being applied or installed.
For example, given that a good deal of cavity wall insulation will be considered as an easy primary insulation measure, the standards that the insulation company must work to and observe requires pre-installation investigations to establish the condition of the metal wall ties and ensure the cavities are clear of obstructions. This is a service that can be provided by many PCA members and is vital. The consequences of undiagnosed structural defects masked by external retrofit are potentially disastrous.
As a PCA and TrustMark qualified expert, under what the Government considers ‘essential structural repairs‘, the listing also includes:
Recent News – Green Homes Grant
Related Information & training
As the Trade Association for the preservation industry, the PCA offer a variety of courses to help you with your professional development. Take a look at some of the options below.