Survey reveals trade hopes for ‘Green’ business opportunities

Local builders and trades people optimistic about business opportunities of carbon reduction programme, but need for training remains high and the findings clearly present issues, as well as potential opportunities.

Research conducted by customer insight specialist 100%Cotton has found that local trades people are broadly optimistic about the business opportunities of carbon reduction measures: a majority (72%) of local builders and trades people are aware of the UK’s Climate Change Act – although only 12% know that the 2050 target for reduced carbon emissions is 80% – whilst around half of all respondents (53%) have heard of the Green Deal. And of them, nine out of ten expect to get more work as a result of the programme, and 30% expect to get a lot of work.

However, only two in ten trades people are confident they have the knowledge and skills, and access to products, materials, tools and equipment they need to retrofit homes with energy efficient technology. Professional trade associations and industry bodies are their first choice for training in carbon reduction techniques (33%); second choice is the government (18%). One in ten respondents would prefer to go online / YouTube for training, with a mere 6% seeking training from trade suppliers.

Jonathan Salisbury, Managing Director of 100% Cotton, comments: “The 40 year programme to retrofit UK homes with energy efficient technologies is a huge business opportunity for the nation’s local trades people. So it is encouraging that more than half have already heard about the forthcoming Green Deal. However, this research suggests that trades people are not sure if they have the skills and knowledge, or access to materials and equipment they need for installing energy efficiency improvements. Surprisingly few (6%) would seek training from their trade suppliers, despite significant investment by the construction supply chain in resources such as websites, helplines and online guides in sustainable building techniques. Clearly, here is a real opportunity for the supply chain to get closer to its customers and help them acquire the knowledge and skills they need to take advantage of the move towards low carbon living.”

For more details and findings from the research please visit

Source: Professional Builders Merchant

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