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Survey finds membership of a trusted organisation tops price

Trust is a more important factor than price for householders when hiring a tradesperson, a new Energy Saving Trust survey has revealed.

Half of householders surveyed said that a clearly displayed certification mark from a trusted organisation presented by a tradesperson was now more important than how much they charged when deciding who would do work in their home.

Small local firms topped the survey for the type of organisation householders would be most likely to hire: almost six in ten (58 per cent) said they would take on a trusted local business to install energy efficiency measures in their home.

Following recent reports that cold callers were posing as Green Deal assessors while charging “administration fees” for agreeing to work under the Government scheme, the Energy Saving Trust’s advice to households looking to install energy saving improvements under the Green Deal is to make sure that the installer is certified.

Tradespeople cannot install an energy efficiency measure through the Green Deal without being certified by one of 16 organisations, including the Energy Saving Trust.

The Energy Saving Trust’s online survey, of more than 2,000 people in England, Scotland and Wales by Ipsos MORI, found that recommendations from third parties were the third most important consideration when hiring a tradesperson to perform energy efficiency work on the home, with 35 per cent rating them as the top factor. That was followed by whether workers “come across as professional” (12 per cent) and whether they use headed notepaper and wear a company uniform (five per cent).

Energy Saving Trust – which has been advising householders on energy efficiency for 20 years – is an independent and trusted organisation which is UKAS-accredited to provide Green Deal Installer certification at a competitive fixed price to a variety of businesses.

Commenting on these findings, NAPIT director of Standards David Cowburn said: “It’s no surprise that consumers favour tradespeople who can demonstrate membership of a trustworthy organisation. It’s encouraging to see that there are a lot of savvy consumers out there who recognise that going for the cheapest deal can often be false economy.

“Consumers cannot take advantage of the Green Deal without hiring a tradesperson certified by one of 16 organisations, of which NAPIT is one of the largest. They will also be unable to make the most of additional Government incentives such as the Feed-in Tariff without using an MCS certified installer. But, across the board, from renewable technology installers to electricians and plumbers, it’s great to see that many consumers are adopting a sensible approach and hiring a trustworthy tradesperson.”

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