Small building firms put off Green Deal work

Red tape could put small building firms off getting involved in the the Green Deal, launched yesterday, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Small building firms put off Green Deal work

The builders’ organisation found in its latest survey that just over a quarter of small to medium-sized (SME) construction firms are planning to get involved in the Green Deal.

However many said the application and accreditation process was overly complicated, while householders were unaware of the potential benefits because of a lack of positive publicity about the scheme.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “Trusted local trades are ready and willing to help homeowners fit energy-saving measures such as double-glazing and insulation. However, many have expressed frustration that it is not easy for smaller firms to get involved in Green Deal work, and that there hasn’t been a marketing campaign to explain to householders what the Green Deal is all about.”

A marketing campaign was launched yesterday to promote the scheme to householders. It includes full page national newspaper advertising, using the strapline ‘Energy Bills Rising? Just Green Deal with it’.

Berry continued: “People want to use their local builder to have energy-efficient improvement work carried out, because they know them and have used them before. But the scheme has been designed so large numbers of small firms are excluded because of the significant costs involved in offering Green Deal finance directly to homeowners. Instead local firms will have to find a large finance provider to work with, rather than getting started on work which would boost the economy and help home-owners save money on their fuel bills.”

Berry added: “We welcome the Green Deal launch today, because in principle it is good for the environment and great for the economy, but without more support, training and publicity the Government risks this policy becoming a damp squib.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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