44% of FMB members say homeowners are unlikely to take up the Green Deal

Small builders have questioned the government’s claims about the amount of work they stand to win from the Green Deal.

44% of Federation of Master Builders members believe homeowners are unlikely to take up the Green Deal, survey figures released today show.

The Green Deal will be launched next year, with the government claiming it will create a workforce of 250,000 people to fit energy efficiency measures into properties.

Brian Berry, Director of External Affairs at the FMB said: “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.

“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.

“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 therefore 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.”

Sustainability Now 18 & 19 May 2011 - Join Andrew Stunell MP as he scrutinises the green building regulations, with a chance to question him about the Green Deal. www.sustainabilitynowevent.com