Brett Amphlett...

BMF fights for merchants’ slice of Green Deal (2/4)

Published:  29 September, 2011

Whitehall

Officials routinely speak to the BMF team to listen to what they are saying. Whitehall recognises the unique selling point of merchants and their trade customers who are already in voters’ homes, literally, to deliver materials or carry out RMI work.

The Government sees a role for merchants in the Green Deal and the BMF has been referred to in Parliament on numerous occasions.

Westminster IS talking about merchants

Greg Barker MP, DECC minister, Tuesday 10 May, at the House of Commons, said: “I really appreciate the way the industry has got involved on this important issue. Voices such as the BMF are essential in helping us to design the Green Deal so that big companies and local SMEs can get involved, while at the same time offering strong consumer protection.”

Luciana Berger MP, Labour spokeswoman, Tuesday 7 June, House of Commons, said: “Concern has been expressed by several organisations, including the BMF that the Green Deal as it stands relies too heavily on big corporate names and favours vertically-integrated businesses that will dominate the marketplace from the outset with a one-stop shop approach.”

Later that same day, Ms Berger also said: “I talked about the BMF before.

It has been very helpful with Amendment 33, suggesting that there will be a software package based on the Building Research Establishment’s SAP software.”

... and Peter Matthews: putting the builders' merchants' case to Westminster and Whitehall.

On Thursday 9 June, at the House of Commons, Ms Berger went on to say: “While other provisions aim to ensure that Green Deal assessors work independently and provide unbiased assessments, the BMF suspects that there will be assessors who – for whatever reason – will give biased or incomplete advice to favour a particular business or solution.”

City of London

Ministers keep saying they are confident that corporate investors will provide the necessary funds. The CBI has questioned this, claiming it is “far from certain” financiers are ready to do so. Others outside construction also say the capital markets are not ready to start offering their money.

The BMF has decided to test the rhetoric by arranging to meet City doyens to discuss investing in asset-backed improvements through merchants. Exploratory conversations begin in earnest this month.

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