Green home upgrades, that would improve the warmth and comfort of the nation’s homes, are being held back by the lack of a clear long-term plan from the Government, new research from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has found.
When builders were asked to identify the biggest barrier to installing more energy efficiency measures, in line with the UK Government’s target to get as many homes as possible to EPC rating C by 2035, they said:
- A lack of a clear pipeline of work – 26% of respondents
- A lack of available finance for consumers – 19%
- A lack of consumer awareness of the benefits of energy efficiency measures – 17%
- A lack of capacity and skills in the construction workforce – 16%
- Don’t know – 15%
- None of these – 6%
These figures are issued on the same day that the FMB found just 3 out of 250 builders who have expressed an interest in the Green Homes Grant scheme have so far completed the necessary registration and training.
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “Without a long-term Government plan for making our homes greener and more energy efficient, we won’t be able to tackle fuel poverty, end preventable winter deaths, or meet the UK’s climate change targets. Builders don’t yet have the confidence they need in the domestic energy efficiency market to invest in their businesses and start offering these services to homeowners. Low engagement in the Green Homes Grant scheme has illustrated this problem, with just 3 Master Builders becoming accredited to deliver this work since the scheme’s launch. A long-term plan, in the form of a National Retrofit Strategy, would address these concerns.”
Berry concluded: “A National Retrofit Strategy would need to be underpinned by a package of fiscal incentives that helps consumers to do their bit for the environment. With 1 in 5 builders saying clients do not have the cash to go green, the Government should temporarily cut VAT on home improvements so that more capital is available for homeowners to do the extension they want while also improving the energy efficiency of their home. It is also essential that the Government funds and makes available the necessary training courses for builders so that they can get accredited to deliver green home upgrades, and to a quality standard.”
About the survey
This question formed part of a survey that was conducted between 11 November and 2 December. This question received 125 responses.
Notes to editors
The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) is the largest trade association in the UK construction industry representing thousands of firms in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Established in 1941 to protect the interests of small and medium-sized (SME) construction firms, the FMB is independent and non-profit making, lobbying for members’ interests at both the national and local level.
The FMB is a source of knowledge, professional advice and support for its members, providing a range of modern and relevant business building services to help them succeed. The FMB is committed to raising quality in the construction industry and offers a free Find a Builder service to consumers.