Bonfield Review is right to focus on quality, says FMB

The Bonfield Review’s strong focus on quality should be welcomed by industry, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has said.

Brian Berry
Brian Berry

The FMB has provided some initial comments following the release of the long-awaited ‘Each Home Counts’ review conducted by Dr Peter Bonfield, into standards and consumer protection in the energy efficiency and renewable energy installation sector.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “Bonfield is right to focus on improving quality – both the technical quality of energy efficiency improvement work and the quality of customer service experienced by the consumer. The energy efficiency and renewable energy sectors, like the wider domestic building industry, remain largely under-regulated, with too few checks to protect consumers from poor quality builders. In the absence of a licensing system for domestic building work, as occurs in Canada and Australia, we must look at other ways of raising standards and boosting quality. Indeed, the FMB’s own strategy for the past few years has been very much aligned with this aspiration. We already ensure that any company wanting to join the FMB undergoes an independent inspection as well as having to adhere to a Code of Practice, as recommended by Bonfield in his report.”

Berry concluded: “The FMB is also fully behind the drive for higher levels of consumer confidence as this is itself a prerequisite for greater demand for energy efficiency measures. However, this quality and confidence alone will not be sufficient to drive the quantity of low carbon refurbishment which will be necessary to upgrade the UK’s housings stock and make sure the UK meets its legally binding target by 2050. We also need financial incentives from the government to encourage homeowners to invest in these improvements. Industry can and will support higher standards but only the government can ensure sufficient demand.”

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