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Green Deal may miss homeowners, FMB warns

Most homeowners won’t bother to take advantage of the Government’s Green Deal, according to a survey by builders organisation the Federation of Master Builders.

Its latest survey of members found that almost 44% thought homeowners were unlikely to take advantage of the Green Deal when it launches in autumn 2012.

Brian Berry, director of external affairs at the FMB says: “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.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Fiona Russell-Horne
Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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