The FMB responds to Public Accounts Committee’s report into Green Homes Grant Scheme, saying “it did not allow sufficient time for builders to upskill and gain the necessary accreditations”, and calling for “a National Retrofit Strategy which sets out a clear, long-term plan to upgrade our existing homes.”
In response to the release of the Public Accounts Committee’s report into the “underperforming” Green Homes Grants Scheme, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has stated the failure of the Green Homes Grant Scheme was a disappointment and the Government must learn from these findings to ensure similar, future schemes work better for industry and consumers.
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “It is not surprising to read the Public Accounts Committee’s damning assessment of last year’s Green Homes Grant Scheme. By the experience of our own members, the FMB echoes the Committee’s criticisms and know that the scheme was too short-term in outlook. Critically, it did not allow sufficient time for builders to upskill and gain the necessary accreditations. For those that did make the leap, they ended up spending large sums of money only to have the scheme pulled from under their feet.”
Berry continued: “This stop-go green initiative undermined certainty for both the public and builders in trying to stimulate demand for energy efficient home improvements. The Government needs a National Retrofit Strategy which sets out a clear, long-term plan to upgrade our existing homes and would go some way to restore faith in green initiatives with the public and industry.”
Ian Rippin, CEO at MCS, has also responded to the Public Accounts Committee report on the Green Homes Grant. Ian stated: “The Green Homes Grant simply did not achieve what it was intended to do: spearhead uptake of domestic renewables, support confidence in the sector and provide a much-needed boost for installers.
“Since its launch, we openly expressed our frustration at the way the scheme was administered. It was overly complicated to navigate for consumers and installers, placing an undue burden on both.
“The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report underlines the scope of the financial failures that beset the scheme. The government must now move forward and ensure that future consumer incentive schemes are operated efficiently.
“We welcome the core recommendations of the report and will continue to work with the government to encourage direct action related to these much-needed changes.
“To rebuild consumer and industry confidence, a future incentive scheme must be built from the ground up in conjunction with the businesses that deliver the work. A well-designed scheme, embedded with proper accountability and scrutiny, is key to repairing the trust that’s been lost.
“The recent Heat and Buildings Strategy is ambitious, but it will only be achieved with strong industry collaboration – something we’re loud and clear on.
“Our message is: listen to our installers and their concerns. Everything from training and scaling up operations, to administration and financial obstacles, must be considered before a new grant scheme is rolled out to consumers.
“The PAC report demonstrates just how significantly the Green Homes Grant underperformed. If we are to reach the UK’s net-zero goals and bolster heat pump installations, then effective, long-term policies – that have been well-researched, prepared and tested – are vital.
“This is especially important as the industry awaits the launch of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, expected in April 2022. It arrives as the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive closes, so it must not be allowed to suffer the same fate as the Green Homes Grant.”