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Britons don’t trust tradespeople on green guidance

The research was commissioned as part of the Energy Saving Trust’s Building in the Dark campaign which launched today.

The initiative aims to highlight the green skills gap among UK tradespeople, as well as campaign for new quality standards and training programmes for the housing sector on energy efficiency.

One poll – of 2362 people from across the UK – found just 17% would trust the advice of the tradesperson already doing work in their house, if they offered to install energy efficiency measures.

And more than half (56%) would suspect that if a tradesperson doing a job on their house suggested energy efficiency measures for their home their motivation was to get extra work.

The second survey – of 241 UK tradespeople – found that 55% of tradespeople would offer green advice if they had more information while more than eight in 10 (84%) would like to be trusted by their customers to give energy efficiency advice.

More than two thirds (68%) of tradespeople want clearer explanations of current environmental legislation while almost eight in 10 (78%) need better guidance of changes in the pipeline for energy efficiency requirements.

Philip Sellwood, chief executive of the Energy Saving Trust, said: "If the national target of an 80 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050 is to be met it is vital we tackle the lack of energy efficiency in our existing housing stock. We simply must act now.

"Latest figures show that £23.9billion is spent on repair, maintenance and improvement works on the UK housing stock and some of this work represents a missed opportunity to make green improvements.

"Real cost savings – in terms of labour and minimising disruption – are on offer to householders who employ tradespeople to install energy-efficiency measures when they are in doing other work. Householders can save on average £340 a year on energy bills through green improvements and energy efficient behaviours.

"We need new training schemes and quality marks for the housing sector to help householders identify skilled tradespeople with the expertise to make green improvements.

"Seventy-five per cent of people in the UK believe the best way to improve the energy efficiency of a home is when the builders are in, but until tradespeople have the knowledge, training and skills to be able to offer this expertise as second nature then they will be building in the dark."

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