By David Pett of Hip2go in Norwich
In a lively Commons debate that took place earlier this week, it was refreshing to see the government respond to the recent Grant Shapps’ led anti-HIP campaign. The debate became heated when Andrew Robathan, a Conservative, asking about the effectiveness of HIPs, stated: ‘Those constituents who raised the matter with me tell me that they find HIPs to be untimely, expensive, and bureaucratic and, really, a waste of time. They quite like the EPCs, so will the government realise the error of their ways, realise what a waste of time, effort and money the process has been, and scrap it?’
It’s questionable whether his constituents were consulted and if there was anybody within his Party who took the time out to explain the purpose of the HIP and the benefits they present. Fortunately, the parliamentary under secretary of state for communities and local government, Ian Austin, took the opportunity to inform Robathan of this as well as belittling his intelligence in the process! Mr Austin responded by saying: ‘The honourable gentleman does not need to ask ludicrous questions like that to confirm to the House that he is not exactly the sharpest tool in the box.
“Thousands of jobs and hundreds of small businesses depend on the HIP process. Some 13,000 people have invested thousands in training as energy assessors, so the Opposition need to explain why they would put all those
jobs and all those businesses at risk, and the honourable gentleman needs to explain to all the people in his constituency whose livelihoods depend on that process, why he wants to put them out of work.”
He went on further to talk about how HIPs were one of the main ways of helping home owners cut carbon emissions and tackle climate change. How refreshing to see the government stand up for an industry that has worked hard to implement well intentioned policy that, despite a rocky start, is beginning to deliver real benefits to the consumer as well as making a major and important contribution towards carbon reduction.
David Pett’s on 01603 275100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org