Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building

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Green Homes Grant addresses ‘cowboy’ fears

4 August 2020
Alok Sharma

Tradespeople who want to deliver home improvement work under the £2bn Green Homes Grant must register for the government’s TrustMark accreditation, amid fears that the scheme could attract cowboy operators.

The scheme, announced by the government in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, will see the state fund up to two thirds of the cost of home improvements of over 600,000 homes. Households on low income can receive vouchers covering 100% of the cost of the improvements, up to a maximum of £10,000.

But there were concerns that a sudden rush in demand for home improvement work including the insulation of walls, floors and roofs, and the installation of low-carbon heating, like heat pumps or solar thermal could lead to a decline in quality.

Now the government has announced that tradespeople must register for TrustMark accreditation to take part  

Business and energy secretary Alok Sharma said: “Green home improvements will save people money on their energy bills, help to cut carbon emissions, and create new work for many thousands of builders, plumbers and other tradespeople.

“Our TrustMark scheme will guarantee that building work is completed to a high standard by accredited tradespeople, ensuring consumers are fully protected.”

Commenting on the move, Eddie Tuttle, director of policy, research and public affairs at CIOB, said: “The Green Homes Grant will provide a much-needed boost to the construction industry as it seeks to help drive the economic recovery. We are pleased that the Government has recognised concerns about poor quality workmanship and the threat of rogue traders and has informed industry professionals that they must register for the TrustMark accreditation. However, with the scheme set to go live at the end of September and with firms being encouraged to rapidly sign up, there is a real need to ensure TrustMark is adequately resourced to deal with any surge in the demand.”

Comments

The scheme only runs for 5 months! Plenty of time for the cowboys to get in and fill their boots, and cease trading before TrustMark’s annual audit comes around.

Wayne Francis, 4 August 2020

The weed out the cowboys is a bit of a ruse, the real problem is weeding out the Council staff and the so called Inspectors and assessors who do not want to check the work, who do not understand whats involved, and within weeks we will have the situation of firms not being paid, payment taking months. If they can;t be bothered to check the jhobs, then they will not be that fussy passing bills for payment.Eventually this schems will collapse, the last 3 schemes have all gone down the Swannee leaving hudreds of contractors with unpaid bills, no income coming in, and hundreds maybe thousands of contractors bills sitting in their original enveliopes unread. Are we excited about this scheme? No we are not. Lets call this one the Red one to avoid Scheme. It will collapse and they’ll claim it was the Coronavirus that created the unchecked home situation not them.

R Wilson, 5 August 2020