Move comes in response to concerns SMEs won’t be able to get involved in the Green Deal

The government has responded to concerns that SMEs will be shut out of the Green Deal by putting on a series of informal workshops to help them win work.

The workshops aim to bring together civil servants and small builders to provide a better understanding of how the latter can get involved in the energy efficiency retrofit scheme.

There have been widespread concerns among small firms about the Green Deal, with a recent survey showing 44% of them believed homeowners were unlikely to take up the initiative.

High street retailers have expressed an interest in offering finance under the scheme, raising concerns that they will partner with big contractors and squeeze out small businesses.

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) said the workshops will be key to furthering their members’ commercial interests.

Brian Berry, director of external affairs at the Federation of Master Builders, said: “The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has been quite genuine about wanting to work with small builders.

“These workshops will be about creating demand and creating access for small builders. The government wants to understand what the problems are for small builders.”

A spokesperson for DECC said: “DECC will arrange informal meetings with small builders. We really want to see all sides of the industry take advantage of the Green Deal. The market is going to be huge and we want to make sure that SMEs get part of that.”

Berry added the FMB hopes to submit an application to become a Green Deal accreditor of installers of energy efficiency measures by the end of the summer.

Last month fellow would-be accreditor, the RICS that its public interest role made it better suited to being an accreditor than trade bodies like the FMB.