VAT cut will help boost green homes

VAT cut will help boost green homes

VAT cut will help boost green homes, says FMB

The Chancellor’s decision to slash VAT to zero percent on home energy saving measures will help boost the drive for greener and more energy efficient homes, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). “This VAT cut will help householders insulate their home at a time when energy bills are escalating,” enthuses Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB. “It will also provide a much-needed boost to local builders operating in the retrofit market. The Government now needs to build on the VAT cut and implement a long term National Retrofit Strategy to provide business certainty.”



£1.4bn owed to Britain’s construction workers following pandemic property market boom

It’s estimated that one in three of us are actually owed money by HMRC – that’s almost 11 million people across the nation. However, RIFT Tax Refunds’ research shows that the proportion owed a tax refund is far higher amongst those employed full-time in construction – as high as 83 per cent. Of the 1.39m people working full-time in the sector, RIFT estimates that just over 1.15m could be owed a tax refund. With the average one-year claim sitting at £1,244 per person, that’s just shy of a staggering £1.44bn owed to those who kept Britain building during one of the most difficult periods in recent history.


There’s an app to fill your trade job gaps

The Trade Jobs App is a free platform where tradespeople can post their availability when they have a gap in their work schedule, review available jobs in their work area and receive notifications when new jobs are posted. On the website it’s possible to post jobs, view profiles of available tradespeople and get in touch to hire them. When a tradesperson is required urgently there is a list of people with their actual availability. The App for Tradespeople is available for download on Google Play and App Store.



WaterSafe celebrates the vital role of qualified, approved plumbers

All WaterSafe approved plumbers are trained in the Water Fittings Regulations and Byelaws – which help prevent the risk of contamination of drinking water from poor plumbing practices and sub-standard fittings and products. That’s why the register is the only one in the UK supported by all water companies and the drinking water regulators. Approved plumbers are also trained not to waste water and can help property-owners save energy and reduce their carbon footprint by offering advice on water-saving fixtures and fittings.


Worcester Bosch launches Environment 2050 competition

The Environment 2050 competition encourages installers to work with customers to make environmentally-friendly choices for their heating and hot water system. There will be a total of 16 installer winners, consisting of four winners per season, in four categories boilers, heat pumps, solar, hybrids, who will each receive and 18V cordless Bosch Drill, £200 towards a charity of their choice, a framed certificate, randed van stickers, marketing material and local PR. An overall winner will also be chosen from the seasonal winners and will receive a further Bosch power bundle worth over £500 and FSC certified British Oak engraved Award.



British bricklaying talent showcased at Best in London Brick contest

Best in London Brick (BiLB), the professional bricklaying competition established by Forterra, saw Alfie Thompson from Swift Brickwork Contractors take first place. Luke Lovegrove from Highgrove Master Masonry LTD came in second, and third was Connor Honeyman from Winchmore Brickwork. Hosted by Lewisham College, the contest saw professional bricklayers from across the UK compete to build a set competition piece.


There’s a spring in the step for construction according to Builders’ Conference

The COVID-19 pandemic and economic fears over Brexit failed to put a dent in the UK construction sector’s confidence, and now Storms Eunice and Franklin and the clouds gathering over Ukraine have suffered a similar fate. House building once again performed strongly, whilst regionally the west midlands, the north west (£538 million) and Scotland all reported a significant increase in demand, with London retaining the leadership of the regional table.


Competition aims to boost construction innovation

The COINS Grand Challenge is aimed at driving innovation and kickstarting ideas which could improve either the construction industry or the built environment. Ideas shortlisted for previous competitions range from fungi-based insulation to automated timber design tools and can be at any stage of development. This is an opportunity for you to grow your idea, win cash prizes, recognition and business investment of up to £100k and the good news is that anyone can enter. The deadline for entries is 31 May 2022.


Employers must provide the same level of hearing protection to all workers

Under amended PPE regulations employers in Great Britain need to ensure that they are ready to provide the same level of hearing protection to workers who carry out casual work as employees who have a contract of employment, advises Casella UK. Updated personal protective equipment (PPE) regulations, which came into force on April 6th 2022, extends employers’ and employees’ duties to all workers, regardless of employment type.



New survey shows millions of UK people trust approved contractors’ schemes

Water Regs UK is urging installers to apply for approved contractor status, after its research revealed that millions of domestic customers check to see if installers are approved. One in seven (14 per cent) of the 2,000 UK householders surveyed by Water Regs UK said they check to see if the installer is registered with an approved contractors’ scheme. That’s more than the number of people who check recommendations on social media (12 per cent) or third party review sites (12 per cent).


Convert from gas network to hydrogen urges industry body

Mike Foster, Chief Executive of the trade body Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA), has called upon the Prime Minister to bring forward the announcement to convert the UK’s gas networks from natural gas to hydrogen. The Government has intimated that decision would take place in 2026. “Green hydrogen is not limited to gas reserves under the feet of a select few countries, not all of them friendly, but its supply will come from countries with an abundance of wind or sun. The UK is one of those countries.”


Energy crisis to cause green renovations ‘boom’, but is there enough support?

A landmark study from Cornerstone Tax has found that 36 per cent of homeowners think that making their home more energy efficient is a priority. However, many are finding the price of doing so a major obstacle, resulting in 45 per cent finding it too expensive without government support. David Hannah, principal consultant at Cornerstone Tax comments: “Perhaps in the future the government can provide much needed support to homeowners who are looking to refurbish their home to make it more eco-friendly. There’s evidently huge demand for greener homes.”


New survey shows high levels of awareness and trust in WRAS

After one year in operation fifty per cent of UK householders say they would trust a plumbing product bearing the WRAS (Water Regulations Approval Scheme) logo, according to new research. WRAS approved products are checked to ensure they don’t leak and to see if any non-metallic materials impact water quality.


BMF launches Ukraine Appeal to unite support from merchant industry

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) is calling on its members and their customers to help raise vital funds to support those affected by the war in Ukraine. BMF CEO, John Newcomb, is the current President of the European Federation of Building Material Distributers (UFEMAT). He is co-ordinating a pan-European campaign, calling on support from the building materials industry across the continent. Funds raised through the appeal in the UK will go to DEC, the Disasters Emergency Committee, which works with the UK’s 15 leading aid charities to provide and deliver aid.

The trade body has created a dedicated appeal page at>


Levelling Up Home Building Fund faces obstacles, finds Sirius Property Finance

The Levelling Up Home Building Fund will see government loans given to SME developers to help fund new projects, with the rationale being that smaller firms often struggle to get adequate funding from private lenders. The fund boasts a total pot of £1.5 billion and the minimum loan that SMEs can apply for is £250,000. With an estimated 2,500 SME developers in the country, it works out that there is £600,000 available for each. However, current market data show that firms are typically applying for loans between £2 million and £5 million. Even working with just that minimum value of £2 million means that the £1.5 billion pot can only stretch to cover 750 SME developers, leaving an estimated 1,750 SMEs without finance. Of course, not all firms will borrow as much as £2 million, and some may not apply to borrow anything at all, but if the government is serious about helping SME developers and, thus, helping the UK economy ‘Level Up’, they need to pledge far more than £1.5 billion. A figure of £5 billion would at least cover every SME taking a loan of £2 million.


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