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FMB survey reveals members Green Deal doubts

More than 40 per cent of Federation of Master Builders members believe homeowners are unlikely to take advantage of the Green Deal.

The Green Deal will be launched next year and the scheme will see homeowners offered loans to make their homes more energy efficient.

The loans, expected to be in the region of £6,500 per property, are designed to be paid off by reductions on the homeowners’ energy bills.

FMB director of external affairs, Brian Berry said: “The government is hoping that its Green Deal will persuade homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient but almost 44 per cent 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.

The survey found that:

  • 70 per cent of respondents believe that cutting VAT to 5 per cent on all energy efficient materials and work would increase homeowner interest.”
  • More than a quarter of respondents believe that council tax reductions would be the biggest incentive for homeowners.
  • Nearly half the firms surveyed expressed concern that major energy companies and retailers will squeeze them out of the market.
  • 58 per cent said it was unlikely, or very unlikely, that SME building companies will see an increase in workload.

Mr Berry added: “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.” 

The FMB is part of the Demand a Better Bill campaign and is calling on the government to set out a “clearer plan” under its Energy Bill to bring the UK’s homes up to standard if it is to succeed in making UK homes greener and more energy efficient.

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