Widespread non-compliance with legislation designed to address the twin challenges of sustainability and carbon reduction is already jeopardising the nation’s ability to meet its long-term environmental targets, according to HVCA president Graham Manly

“Non-compliance is becoming a culture – owing to lack of enforcement, the paltry penalties being imposed, and the absence of perceived benefit,” Manly told his audience at the HVCA’s Annual Luncheon at the Tower of London.

Manly said that, while enforcement was only part of the solution, without it there was no chance of making the regulations stick.

“Whatever reservation we may have had about Corgi – especially in its latter years – the fact remains that it was the rigour and vigilance of its inspection arrangements, along with the sanctions that could be imposed in the event of non-compliance, that ensured the effectiveness of the regime,” said Manly.

He argued that poor work carried out by an incompetent “cowboy” could do more damage to the carbon reduction agenda – and to the building services engineering industry – than if the work had not been undertaken in the first place.

“We require practical and effective regulation, appropriate and achievable standards, a fully competent workforce and a robust certification scheme that gives customers confidence as well as value,” he added.