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Issues remain as carbon competition intensifies

Last week’s announcement on renewable energy subsidies disappointed as many people as it pleased, as you would expect when different technologies are vying to prove their viability.

But what isn’t in doubt is the eagerness of construction contractors to differentiate themselves through their ability to cut clients’ carbon.

As we report this week in our news analysis, there has been a flurry of acquisitions and internal restructuring to help build business in this area.
In fact, it’s worth noting the few top 20 contractors who haven’t done anything in the past few months. And there are still companies to buy - we profile five of the hottest prospects in the renewables sector.

But talk is cheap and money isn’t - the key to whether ambitious plans become reality will be getting funding in place. As we report, one of the key things will be seeing PFI style models being formed where contractors will generate long-term income from energy saving. That may be a better bet than relying on government policy to support investment.

There are still good opportunities for smaller companies - even ones who think of themselves as pretty traditional - to get on board and turn reducing carbon into increasing revenue. The campaign run by ConstructionSkills, the Federation of Master Builders and the National Specialist Contractors’ Council is a good example of the importance of getting good, practical information out to SMEs. More on that in a future issue.

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