The Government has pledged to reduce its carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 and as residential buildings contribute as much as 27% of the UK’s total carbon emissions, improving the energy efficiency of our existing housing stock is absolutely key.
Potential business benefits for SME builders
The domestic energy efficiency refurbishment market is estimated to be worth between £3.5 billion and £6.5 billion per year and has the potential to generate an enormous amount of work for SME builders – local construction firms that are ideally placed to take on these jobs.
The FMB is determined to help ensure its members are well placed to take advantage of the current and future opportunities by:
- Ensuring Government-led programmes do not overlook SMEs in favour of larger construction companies
- Ensuring that its members have the necessary skills and qualifications to carry out the work.
The FMB is concerned that despite its estimated value, the low carbon refurbishment market is not currently an attractive one for many small builders. In a survey of our members in 2013, 51.3% agreed that there was insufficient client demand to warrant investing time and money in entering this market.
In order to achieve the reductions in carbon emissions necessary to meet the UK’s carbon emissions targets, we therefore believe it is vital that the Government puts in place the right system of incentives to drive extensive uptake of energy efficiency improvements by private home owners.
Cut the VAT on repair, maintenance and improvement work
More widely the FMB has long argued for a broad cut in VAT to 5% for all housing renovation and repair work as independent research (PDF, 1.48MB) demonstrates that such a move would significantly boost the UK economy by:
- Boosting economic growth and generating thousands of jobs.
- Bringing empty properties back into use.
- Improving the energy efficiency of our housing stock.
- Reducing the incidence of fuel poverty.
- Protecting consumers and legitimate businesses by significantly reducing the competitive advantage of rogue traders.