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Half of UK householders believe trust is more important than price when hiring an energy tradesperson.

A new survey of 2,000 people has revealed a clearly displayed certification mark from a trusted organisation shown by a tradesperson was more important than how much they charged when deciding who would work in their homes.

Householders picked small local firms for the type of organisation they would be most likely to hire, with 58% saying they would take on a trusted local business to install energy efficiency measures in their homes. A quarter said they would choose one from a big company whilst 7% preferred lone tradesmen.

According to the Energy Saving Trust (EST), cold callers have been posing as Green Deal assessors while charging “administration fees” for agreeing to work under the scheme. However, tradespeople cannot install energy efficiency measures through the Green Deal without being certified by one of 16 organisations, including the EST.

Tom Lock, Certification Manager at the EST said: “These findings make it clear that while money is tight for many, being able to trust the tradesperson doing the work on their home is still more important to people than the pounds in their pocket. Trust is earned and householders often find it difficult and time consuming to find tradespeople they know can be 100% trusted and relied upon to perform good quality work at the right price.

“Tradespeople could see this as a problem but we would advise them that it is actually a great opportunity. Certification – such as that provided by the Energy Saving Trust to installers working under the Green Deal – is a great way to build trust. Homeowners can then be sure that the right energy efficiency measures providing greater comfort and energy savings will be installed in their home.”

The report also revealed recommendations from third parties were the third most important factor when hiring a tradesperson to perform energy efficiency work in their homes, with 35% rating them as the top choice. That was followed by whether workers “come across as professional” (12%) and whether they use headed notepaper and wear a company uniform (5%).

Trust has always been an issue in the energy industry and a survey conducted earlier this year showed six in ten UK consumers distrust their energy supplier.

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