“The voters are never wrong”, policymakers take note

11th Feb 2019


It’s an old adage, and despite what you might think about their choice, politicians only perish when they think the voters are wrong and should be ignored.

So those advising politicians, although not at the sharp end of the ultimate decision, should also pay attention to this golden rule. The latest BEIS Public Attitudes Tracker provides us with further evidence that policymakers need reminding of this.

It’s no secret that some in Whitehall don’t like the heating industry and how it works. I know some want to change the economic model, it doesn’t suit their agenda. Put bluntly, they don’t like the role heating engineers play in it. Some don’t rate them, others are simply scornful – I heard one highly-placed Jobsworth say that installers simply “grunt” at customers. Some are actively working to squeeze them with red and blue tape so tight they give up. If you think I’m exaggerating look at what’s happening with PAS 2035. 

But back to the public and the BEIS tracker. 

When asked about choosing a boiler or heating system, 53 per cent of people went to their heating engineer or installer, 28 per cent friends and family, 21 per cent the internet and 15 per cent their energy provider.

Now this next bit is important.

98 per cent of people thought heating engineers/installers were “very” or “fairly” helpful in making that decision. 92 per cent of people asked found it “very” or “fairly” easy to find out information about the boiler or heating system. 91 per cent felt they had the right information to help them make a good choice. When asked who they trusted most to provide advice about which heating systems to install, the most popular option was a tradesperson such as an installer.

So my question is, faced with these findings why are BEIS seemingly hell-bent on disrupting the market? Do they also think installers just “grunt” at their customers, because these findings suggest otherwise? Or do they think the public are wrong. Because if they do, that is a very bad place for them to be in. Just ask former politicians.

Best wishes

Mike Foster, CEO

Mike Foster

EUA's Chief Executive


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