More than a quarter of all businesses installing green home upgrades blame the government’s lack of clarity as the biggest barrier to installing more energy efficient measures, according to the latest survey by the Federation of Master Builders.

Some 26% blamed ‘a lack of clear pipeline of work’ while 19% identify lack of finance for consumers, 17% blame lack of consumer awareness and 16% point to the shortage of skills in the construction workforce.

The figures were issued on the same day that the federation discovered that only three of the 250 builders who have expressed an interest in the Green Homes Grant scheme have so far completed the necessary registration and training.

Chief executive Brian Berry said: “Without a long-term government plan for making our homes greener and more energy efficient, we won’t be able  to  tackle fuel poverty, end preventable winter deaths, or meet the UK’s climate change targets.

“Builders don’t yet have the confidence they need in the domestic energy efficiency market to invest in their businesses and start offering these services to homeowners. Low engagement in the Green Homes Grant scheme has illustrated this problem, with just 3 Master Builders becoming accredited to deliver this work since the scheme’s launch. A long-term plan, in the form of a National Retrofit Strategy, would address these concerns.

“A National Retrofit Strategy would need to be underpinned by a package of fiscal incentives that helps consumers to do their bit for the environment. With 1 in 5 builders saying clients do not have the cash to go green, the Government should temporarily cut VAT on home improvements so that more capital is available for homeowners to do the extension they want while also improving the energy efficiency of their home. It is also essential that the Government funds and makes available the necessary training courses for builders so that they can get accredited to deliver green home upgrades, and to a quality standard.”