FMB: New buildings strategy “is not looking encouraging”

Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders

The UK government’s flagship strategy to address the impact of our homes on the climate may have failed to deliver the ambitious blueprint for action needed to deliver a greener Britain, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), in response to today’s publication of the Heat and Buildings Strategy. Brian Berry, the FMB’s chief executive, said: “Today’s Heat and Buildings Strategy needs to set out a bold and long-term plan of action to tackle the impact of our homes on the climate. Unfortunately, it is not looking encouraging.

“Grants for heat pumps is a step in the right direction, so we begin to reduce our reliance on polluting and volatile fossil fuels. But incentives are also needed to make our existing homes better insulated.” Berry continued: “The government appears to be only listening to one half of the story. If there is no detail in the strategy on how we can address the mega tonnes of carbon lost through the leaky walls and roofs of our homes, it will have failed and the benefits of installing heat pumps risk being lost.”

Berry concluded: “Without a long-term national retrofit strategy, including a proper skills plan and communications campaign, regular consumers won’t know what action they need to take, nor feel it’s within their grasp; and industry won’t take the long-term investment decisions needed to be ready to deliver. I can only hope that the chancellor will use next week’s budget to address some of these gaps.”