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FMB set for central role in Green Deal operations

Smaller firms moved closer to claiming their slice of the Green Deal this week as the Federation of Master Builders revealed plans to take a key role in the scheme.

The FMB is finalising an application to become the operator of a government-backed accreditation scheme that will allow builders to work on the Green Deal.

Smaller contractors have raised fears they will miss out on work through the retrofitting scheme at the heart of the Energy Bill, which entered its second reading in Parliament last week.

But FMB officials revealed they had been discussing plans for the competent persons scheme with Department of Community and Local Government officials for almost a year, and believed the government was now ready to back them.

FMB director of external affairs Brian Berry said: “We will be setting up a scheme open to any builder, who will then have their work inspected and undergo regular training to be able to sign off on projects themselves.

“We are very positive the government will give it the go-ahead. The Green Deal is the motor behind the whole agenda [to run a competent persons scheme]. We hope to finalise our application later in the summer to have the scheme running by April 2012.”

The Green Deal will enable accredited firms to offer consumers energy-efficiency improvements to their homes and businesses at no upfront cost, to be recouped through savings on energy bills.

The FMB is also set to lead a delegation of members to discuss with the government ways in which smaller builders can help deliver the Green Deal.

Research commissioned by the FMB showed that retrofitting the UK’s 26 million homes could add between £3.5 billion and £6.5bn to the existing housing repairs and maintenance market.