BMF calls on government to keep decarbonisation pledges on track

BMF calls on government to keep decarbonisation pledges on track

Ahead of the Spring Budget, the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has called on the Chancellor to invest in property repair, maintenance and improvement to create purposeful jobs in every region and boost much-needed local growth across the country.

The government has previously announced increased spending on energy efficiency for homes, businesses, and public services amounting to £12.6bn. The BMF has not seen this spending fully materialised.

BMF CEO John Newcomb said: “Writing to the Chancellor in advance of the Spring Budget (set for March 6) we have urged the government to embark on a long-term programme to utilise this funding through a nationwide programme of retrofitting homes that will help cut household bills and reduce carbon emissions. To succeed, this must be underwritten by a proper implementation plan that lays out how local authorities and other delivery partners will complete the improvements that many homes urgently need.”

The BMF also expressed concern that the government’s Energy Efficiency Taskforce, under joint chairs Lord Callanan and Dame Alison Rose, came to a premature end in September 2023. Its work remains unpublished and the BMF wants this to be made available to the National Retrofit Hub, so the evidence gathered, and its assessments and evaluations, are not lost to practitioners undertaking this vital work.

Decarbonising road transport

The BMF has also called for the tax treatment of low-carbon fuels to be incentivised, so they cost less than diesel. BMF members who have switched to cleaner, green fuels incur a significant cost differential, typically about 60p per litre over standard diesel, which is a squeeze on margins.

John added: “To ease pressure on members struggling to absorb rising costs, the BMF has asked for an HVO tax differential, around 60p per litre, for 12-18 months. This would not only demonstrate the government’s support for the decarbonisation of transport, but also help those companies who are feeling the pinch financially remain true to decarbonisation.”

In other news from the BMF, the federation has announced the theme, host and location for its Annual Conference and Awards in September.

Taking the theme, Building a Material Difference, the BMF Conference and Awards will be hosted by the TV and radio presenter Colin Murray, who has covered everything from sport to music to lifestyle in his varied career.

A three-time Sony Gold winner, Colin has hosted Radio 5 Live’s sports panel show Fighting Talk, marshalling the egos of the competing pundits, comedians, and journalists, and anchored Quest’s football league highlights show, EFL on Quest as well as BBC’s Match of the Day 2. He took over the reins from Anne Robinson as the host of C4’s Countdown, and continues to present two shows with a sports focus on Radio 5 Live.

The BMF’s annual flagship event will take place on 18 and 19 September at the Leonardo Hotel and Conference Venue at Hinckley Island in Leicestershire. In addition to informative and entertaining conference sessions, interactive workshops and exhibition, the event encompasses sporting and social networking opportunities, including the BMF Golf Tournament and a black-tie Awards Dinner celebrating members’ achievements.

The BMF has also confirmed Unilin Insulation as the headline sponsor of its Conference and Awards for the second consecutive year.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “Our annual members’ conference continues to grow in its scope, scale and attendance. Every year we look to develop on the success of the last and we are looking forward to welcoming even more members in 2024.”

Click here for more information and to book your place at the BMF Annual Conference and Awards or alternatively contact

Taking the theme, Building a Material Difference, the 2024 BMF Conference and Awards will be hosted by TV and radio presenter Colin Murray.
TV and radio presenter, Colin Murray.

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