Greengates Builders Merchants

Home insulations down 97 per cent in blow to Coalition 'green deal'

The number of people insulating their homes has seen a “staggering” drop of 97 per cent in the last year in a blow to the Coalition’s flagship ‘green deal’.

Despite government attempts to improve Britain’s fuel efficiency, industry figures show that instal­la­tions of cavity wall insulation were down by 97 per cent in April compared with the same month last year.

There were 1,138 cavity wall insulations installed last month, down from 49,650 in April 2012, according to the figures from the Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency, an industry monitoring group.

The Coalition government has tried to highlight the potential for a national insulation scheme to reduce energy use and prevent household bills from rising over the next decade.

Currently millions of homes do not have full double-glazing and most lack adequate insulation, efficient condensing boilers and proper heating controls.

Last year, there was an average of 40,000 instal­la­tions of cavity wall insulations a month under two government programmes that have since ended – the community energy savings scheme and the carbon emissions reduction target.

Companies had to insulate a certain number of homes under these schemes over a given period of time, but both ended on December 31, 2012, to be replaced by the green deal and the energy company obligation (ECO).

The ECO will force energy companies to make people’s homes more efficient through insulation and improved heating systems, and is targeted at people on benefits or on low incomes, like its predec­essors.

Under the green deal, however, there is no obligation for parti­cipa­tion, and households are simply encouraged with a £250 ‘cash back’ offer to take part in insulation schemes.

Luciana Berger, Labour’s shadow minister for climate change, said the fall in instal­la­tions was a “disaster for our economy”.

She said: “Labour warned nearly a year ago that the number of cavity wall instal­la­tions would plummet because of structural problems with the green deal.

“The fact this has now became a reality is all the more damaging.”

It was also a blow to small businesses across the country, she warned.

One industry executive put the slow start to the green deal and ECO down to early teething problems and red tape, saying: “The guidance we have to comply with is 176 pages long.”


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