The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) will work in partnership with TrustMark to ensure that homeowners can be confident of the quality of both the materials and the workmanship of projects completed under the new Green Homes Grant scheme.
To take advantage of the new initiative, the Government is urging tradespeople to sign up for TrustMark accreditation in a drive to support 100,000 new jobs to fulfil the new energy efficiency scheme, which will give over 600,000 homeowners in England up to £10,000 to install insulation, heat pumps and draft proofing to help them cut energy bills.
TrustMark has strict accreditation rules for tradespeople involved in the scheme, which covers green home improvements ranging from insulation of walls, floors and roofs to the installation of low-carbon heating, including heat pumps or solar thermal – measures that could help families save up to £600 a year on their energy bills.
BMF supplier members manufacture the products that will be installed into homes under scheme rules, and BMF merchant members provide the major distribution channel for these materials. The BMF and TrustMark will work together to ensure the quality of the supply chain from manufacture to project completion. A dedicated page on the TrustMark website will list, by region, the BMF members participating in the scheme.
The BMF will also help TrustMark facilitate specialist product training for tradespeople signing up for the scheme, using the trade body’s extensive physical and online training capacity. The BMF has also offered its 32 Centres of Excellence across the country as potential training centres, with a number of these already located at insulation specialists such as Encon, Knauf, Saint Gobain, SIG, Superglass and Xtratherm.
The two bodies will hold a working group meeting on 13 August to finalise details, with a number of BMF merchant and supplier members involved in initial discussions.
John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “We are excited to work with TrustMark to develop the quality supply route required to facilitate an anticipated 600,000 projects through the Green Homes Grant. BMF supplier members are at the forefront of product development in insulation and heat pump technology and our merchant members account for over 80% of trade distribution channels, making this a natural partnership.
“We fully support this Government initiative that will not only cut energy bills for consumers and reduce the country’s carbon emissions but will also support over 100,000 jobs for skilled tradespeople.”
Simon Ayers, Chief Executive of TrustMark added: “We welcome the opportunity to work with the BMF and build a partnership that takes in the whole supply chain. Consumer confidence is not only essential to the recovery of the UK economy but also to the protection and creation of key jobs that will support the long-term delivery of quality green home improvements.
“TrustMark accredited tradespeople working with a recognised supply chain will provide homeowners with the confidence they need that those working on their homes have been thoroughly vetted for technical competence, customer services and trading practices.”
The £2 billion Green Homes Grant scheme goes live at the end September. Consumers in England will be able to claim the new vouchers, which are worth up to £5,000 for homeowners. Households on low income can receive vouchers covering 100% of the cost of the improvements, up to a maximum of £10,000.
Green Homes Grants will give homeowners, including owner occupiers and social/private landlords, vouchers to install one or more of the following:
solid wall, under-floor, cavity wall or roof insulation
air source or ground source heat pump
In addition, households can use their voucher for further energy saving measures. These include one or more of the following:
double or triple glazing/secondary glazing, when replacing single glazing
upgrading to energy efficient doors
hot water tank/appliance tank thermostats/heating controls