And builders’ organisations say that delays to work beginning under the Green Deal will hinder growth in the construction industry and the wider economy
Government originally pledged that work under its flagship Green Deal programme would start on 1 October 2012 but ministers have now confirmed that this will not be happening until February 2013 when the repayment mechanism is in place. However, under what is now euphemistically described as a ‘soft launch’ households are able to get their homes assessed from October onwards and companies that want to become certified Green Deal Installers can apply for certification.
Federation of Master Builders (FMB) chief executive Brian Berry said: "The FMB has long argued that for the Green Deal to succeed, government must generate business confidence in the scheme by sending clear policy signals. When agreed time frames are not adhered to, businesses lose faith in what the government is saying. This could mean that the next time such a scheme is announced, these businesses will be reluctant to invest in the areas of their business that are essential to the government delivering their policy objectives.
“The government predicts that the Green Deal programme could kick start £14bn of investment over the next decade and support at least 65,000 new insulation and construction jobs by 2015. However, with the construction industry continuing to falter, we need this stimulus right away which is why it is so disappointing that there will be a three month delay to actual work commencing under the Green Deal.
“It is now more important than ever that government ensures the Green Deal is a success once it does eventually get going. As part of this, government must support the efforts of SMEs to forge a mutually beneficial relationship with one or more Green Deal provider. Without certainty that small firms will have access to the Green Deal market, it will be much harder to drive the development of new skills needed to support the effective transition to a low-carbon built environment."