The Wood Heat Association survey results
A survey eliciting feedback from potential members and other interested parties was issued on Friday 8th of November and closed on the Monday the 25th .
We sent the survey out to over 650 named individuals some of whom forwarded the survey. We had 151 responses which is a significant result in its own right. 134 of these were used as the basis for the analysis that followed as the remainder were incomplete. The highlights from the survey are listed below. Please download the attached document for a more complete analysis of the results.
Survey Analysis Report December 2013
The top five issues most people were concerned about are;
- Uncertainty around continuity of RHI.
- Implementation of RHI degression mechanism by DECC.
- Lack of expert and impartial advice and guidance for potential customers.
- Poor quality installations damaging the reputation of the wood heat industry.
- Tightening of emissions regulations for wood-fired boilers.
There were 148 additional free form items to these which can be broadly grouped;
- Complaints about lack of professionalism on installer side :
- Complaints around mis-selling
- Complaints about regulation or legislation of one form or another
- Issues with finance for customers in the sector
- Skills shortages in the wood heat industry
- Challenges in fuel/feedstock availability for supply chain
- Perverse outcomes from the RHI
132 respondents answered the question about the services a new should provide WHA while 2 skipped it. The clear favourites were;
- Lobby government on behalf of industry (89%);
- Drive up quality standards across the industry (89%);
- Provide industry news to members (87%);
- Deciphering and summarising government legislation and announcements (82%);
- Coordinate responses to relevant government consultations (82%);
- 124 of 134 (92.5%) of respondents indicated that they thought the wood heat industry would benefit from a single, unified trade association.
- 52 of the 134 respondents were already members of the REA (39%). 24 are members of Confor, 8 the Country Land and Business Association, and 14 are members of the Confor WSG.
- Of the 52 REA members who responded to the survey, 50 of them (96%) felt that the wood heat sector would either probably or definitely benefit from a single, unified trade association.
- 132 of 134 respondents answered the question about what kind of organisations should join the WHA.
All the categories presented got at least some support, with fairly predictable patterns. Chip and pellet producers and distributors led the way, with >95% support, while boiler installers were only a couple of percentage points behind, while log producers and distributors were the only other category which saw support levels in excess of 80%.
Boiler distributors/importers polled just below 80%, while log stove manufacturers and installers garnered levels of support in excess of 60%. The only organisations to receive less than 50% support from respondents were the public sector and land agents and other advisors.
15 respondents suggested ‘other’ organisations who should be eligible, or made comments, although several were suggesting organisations that could readily be incorporated in the headings provided. Those which weren’t included:
Forest industry bodies, contractors, forest owners, etc…
Anyone with an interest in the sector;
Energy crop growers