A Dundee man claims he has been left thousands of pounds out of pocket after delays to energy saving work at his Downfield home.
Colin Douglas, 55, took out a Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland (HEEPS) equity loan of £30,000 to install wall insulation and carry out other upgrades.
Mr Douglas says despite forking out more than £1,500 to get a building warrant a year ago, it still has not been granted.
He has also paid out to get scaffolding put up around his home, in anticipation of the work getting under way, along with legal fees.
Robert Swan, from Anywall – the contractor appointed by the scheme to complete the work – has been tasked with getting the warrant.
He says delays have been outwith his control.
However, Mr Douglas claims Mr Swan has not moved quickly enough to progress the work.
He said: “I’ve got to the point where I just wanted my money back and for everyone to just walk away.
“Since we’re so far down the road, the best case scenario is the certification comes through, which isn’t guaranteed, we get the building warrant and the work can go ahead with different workers.
‘System to blame for delays’
“I don’t mind taking a small hit, but this isn’t my fault so once I add up my losses, I think someone should reimburse me for the inconvenience.”
Mr Swan – who has stopped taking phone calls from Mr Douglas after claims the householder was being abusive towards him – says the “system” is to blame.
He said: “The problem we have now is that the manufacturers cannot provide us with a British Board of Agrément (BBA) certification for the system so that we can give that to the local authority in Dundee.
“This is in relation to the fire regulations for exterior buildings.
“At the moment, the manufacturer says that, with fire regulations changing with the cladding on buildings, the certification takes longer to get.
“The manufacturer says we are definitely getting the certification.
“The BBA has everything it needs, but because of the backlog, it’s been a bit slow on the uptake.”
The Energy Saving Trust – which helps to run the scheme – has now asked Mr Swan to reimburse Mr Douglas if the warrant is not granted by the end of July.
A Dundee City Council spokesperson said: “The council’s building standards service is liaising with the applicant’s agent in order to ensure full compliance with building regulations.
“Once full compliance is demonstrated by the agent, it will be possible to grant a building warrant.”
‘Final decision rests with the homeowner’
A government spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government‘s Home Energy Efficiency Equity Loan pilot scheme is trialling new ways for homeowners and landlords to improve energy efficiency, reduce energy bills, improve wellbeing and help tackle climate change.
“While it would be inappropriate to comment in any detail on individual situations, we are satisfied that any delays in this case were not the result of the pilot scheme’s operating procedure.
“Any complaints are investigated and support provided to resolve issues wherever appropriate.
“The pilot scheme recommends that customers use accredited installers, such as those who meet PAS 2030 Certification standards to ensure a high level of workmanship, although the final decision rests with the homeowner.”