Michael Ankers tells Think 07 that government should give homeowners incentives for eco building work in first year

New homeowners should receive incentives for environmentally-friendly building work done in the first year of their occupancy, according to Construction Products Association chief executive Michael Ankers.

Michael Ankers

In a seminar at the Think 07 conference entitled "Drivers for Change - Carrots or Sticks?", Ankers told delegates that the government should introduce incentives for people who carry out works to upgrade or improve the Energy Performance Certificate of existing homes in the year after buying them.

He said: "People normally make improvements to their homes in the first year. The thinking should be, if I do it in the first 12 or 18 months I will get government support. It's where carrot and stick go hand in hand."

Ankers also used his talk to criticise the Part L regulations, which set minimum standards for energy efficiency in new buildings.

He said the regulations were not being properly enforced: "We don't have the competence, we don't have the software and we don't have the resources. We have to make sure we have regulations that are understandable and enforceable."

He added that sustainable building regulations would be welcomed by the construction industry, as long as they were "proportionate, and not unduly bureaucratic."