Last reviewed 23 February 2021

The poor take-up of the Government’s Green Homes Grant scheme (GHGS) demonstrates the need for a longer-term strategy to upgrade existing homes to make them greener and more energy efficient, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has warned.

The Government will not succeed in achieving its Green Industrial Revolution with a short-term plan like the Green Homes Grant scheme, the FMB said as it highlighted figures showing that the scheme is putting off both builders and consumers.

It has called on Ministers to think “bigger and bolder” and to back a long-term National Retrofit Strategy that sets out an ambitious delivery plan to cut carbon emissions from all the nation’s homes.

The FMB has pointed to next month’s Budget as the perfect opportunity to take the necessary action.

FMB Chief Executive Brian Berry said: “The Government will clearly be disappointed that a scheme designed to create 100,000 new jobs has fewer than 1000 building companies on board. A flash in the pan policy doesn’t give small builders the confidence they need to invest in the necessary accreditations and training.”

Given that household applications for grants peaked in October, he concluded, it would seem that the negative press around this scheme is taking its toll.

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) set out a national retrofit strategy in December 2020, “Greening our existing homes” (see CLC invites views on possible National Retrofit Strategy).

With one in five builders saying clients simply do not have the money to go green, the FMB is also calling for the Government to temporarily cut VAT on home improvements so that more capital is available for homeowners to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.