CIOB responds to the opening of the government's Green Homes Grant scheme
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has today opened their Green Homes Grant programme for applications. The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has responded to this announcement as a positive move, presenting some opportunities for the sector, while acknowledging that issues around quality cannot be overlooked.
The new Green Homes Grant will give over 600,000 homeowners in England up to £10,000 to install insulation, heat pumps, draft proofing and more to help households cut energy bills.
The CIOB has previously been supportive of the Government’s moves to establish the Green Homes Grant scheme, as it has the potential to boost the construction industry, delivering a pipeline of labour-intensive repair, maintenance and improvement work. This retrofit work has a key role to play in helping to drive the economic recovery, while enhancing the UK’s existing housing stock and helping to deliver on the green agenda, through improved energy efficiency.
However, the CIOB has also been clear in its calls for improvements in quality in construction and has welcomed the TrustMark scheme’s involvement in the new initiative. In initial announcements about the scheme, the Government urged tradespeople to sign up for TrustMark accreditation to support the scheme. It is hoped that strict accreditation rules for contractors carrying out work under the scheme should give householders confidence that improvements to their homes will be of the highest quality.
The CIOB has also commented that it is vital for TrustMark to be adequately resourced if it is to ensure that all firms participating in the scheme meet the standards required.
Eddie Tuttle, Director of Public Policy, Research and Public Affairs at CIOB, was optimistic in his overall view of the scheme:
“There is an opportunity here to do good in the short-term and in the longer term – we at the CIOB would like to see the Green Homes Grant as one part of an ambitious, long-term national retrofit strategy. As well as helping to drive towards greener homes and energy efficiency, this would provide a clear and much needed boost for the construction industry and the provide some of the certainty that businesses need to create stable, green jobs, this year and beyond. We are pleased that the Government has recognised concerns about the possibilities of poor quality workmanship and rogue traders and has sent a clear signal with the need for TrustMark accreditation.”
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