Builders sceptical Green Deal will work

6 May 2011

The Green Deal may not be the green revolution the Government hopes it will be according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). A survey of its members and found that almost half thought homeowners were unlikely to take advantage of the proposed new system for making homes more efficient without having to pay upfront costs. The Green Deal is to be launched in autumn 2012.

Brian Berry, Director of External Affairs at the FMB said: The Government is hoping that its Green Deal will persuade homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient but 44% of our members, small building firms that are in contact with homeowners on a daily basis, think homeowners are unlikely to take advantage of it. If the Government wants the Green Deal to be a success it should start by offering additional incentives. 70% of respondents to our survey believe that cutting VAT to 5% on all energy efficient materials and work would increase homeowner interest. More than a quarter also believe that council tax reductions would be the biggest incentive for homeowners.

Berry continued:“Small, local building companies should be the natural choice for homeowners wanting to retrofit their property or make it more energy efficient. However, nearly half of FMB members are worried that they will be squeezed out of the Green Deal market by the major energy companies and retailers and 58% felt that it was either very unlikely or unlikely that small and medium sized building companies would see their workloads increase as a result of the Green Deal.  The FMB is therefore calling on the  Government to  help small building companies have equal access to the energy efficiency market by allowing an independent third party financial provider to handle Green Deal finance packages. This would help ensure that small building companies can compete fairly with the larger companies who will be offering ‘one–stop-shops’ to consumers.” 

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