“Homeowners Unlikely to Take Advantage of Green Deal” warns Federation of Master Builders

A survey by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) found that almost 44% of its members thought homeowners were unlikely to take advantage of the Green Deal when it launches in autumn 2012.

“The Government is hoping that its Green Deal will persuade homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient but almost 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,” comments Brian Berry, Director of External Affairs at the FMB. “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.

“Small, local building companies should be the natural choice for homeowners wanting to retrofit their property or make it more energy efficient,” continued Berry. “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 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.”

Berry concluded by airing his main concerns: “The critical issue is encouraging consumers to take up the Green Deal. What is very concerning is that the Energy Bill, which is the legal basis of the Green Deal, is not ambitious enough. The Bill needs to set out a clearer plan to bring the UK’s homes up to standard if it is to succeed in making our homes greener and more energy efficient. To create consumer demand for the Green Deal additional incentives such a cut in VAT for energy efficient works and a reduction in council tax for retrofitted homes are also needed. These incentives would help ensure that the Green Deal is a success and that the Government can achieve its stated aim to be ‘the greenest government ever’.”

Source: Professional Builders Merchant Online

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