Green schemes are key, says National Insulation Association

9th November, 2013

As the government announced a review into so called green energy taxes and the clearest indication that some may be cut in the coming weeks, the National Insulation Association (NIA) highlights that green schemes such as the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) are key to lowering energy bills and that the savings can far exceed the associated costs.

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is of crucial importance in protecting households against rising energy bills in the future through supporting the installation of energy efficiency measures which provide long term, sustainable savings on their energy bills. In addition there are a number of other important benefits to be derived from the ECO including; tackling fuel poverty and climate change, reducing cold related excess winter deaths, security of energy supply and job creation.

The simple fact remains that there are still some 7m solid walls, 5m cavity walls and 7m lofts that need insulating in the UK and it is vital that we treat these as a priority. Whilst the ECO adds around 47 a year to the average energy bill, the savings available to householders through installing insulation measures can far outweigh this cost with cavity wall and loft insulation saving around 320 per year and solid wall and loft Insulation around 670 per year.

The Green Deal and ECO have the potential to provide insulation measures to millions of homes and businesses but they are currently not delivering as expected by government with cavity wall and solid wall installations both over 60% down on expectations.

The NIA is therefore seeking a number of reforms:

  • Government and energy suppliers to agree a specific delivery plan to accelerate insulation delivery for the remainder of the current ECO.

  • Simplification of the ECO rules.

  • Incentives for Local Authorities and Housing Associations to engage in ECO projects.

  • Additional incentives to stimulate uptake of these schemes for example incentives related to stamp duty or council tax for improving the energy efficiency of buildings and setting minimum standards for building efficiency.

  • Changes to the Green Deal Cash Back Scheme.

  • A high-profile, government and energy supplier backed, communications programme to increase awareness and understanding of the Green Deal and ECO amongst the general public.

"It is vitally important that rather than simply talking about the costs of green energy taxes, the public are made aware of the savings and huge benefits they provide.

*Based on a typical three-bedroom semi-detached gas heated house installing cavity wall insulation and loft insulation, savings when you insulate an uninsulated loft. Solid wall insulation saving is the average saving between internal and external solid wall insulation. Both with an 80% efficient gas boiler and average gas tariff of 4.64p/kWh and electricity tariff of 15.32p/kWh; correct as of December 2012 and valid for 2013. Figures from the EST.

Source: GT Global Trader

There will be a Green Deal seminar at the Retrofit London conference at the Business Design Centre, London on 06 December. The seminar will revolve around how homeowners, social housing providers and businesses can access money, and what role the retrofit industry play in stimulating investment. To view the full conference programme or to book tickets for the event, CLICK HERE.

At the Retrofit Summit, a Policy Debate titled "What future for ECO" will be a key feature of the Opening Plenary which will include presentations from David Strong, EEPB, Jonathon Reynolds MP, Shadow Minister for Climate Change, DECC, Ofgem, Claire Harrold, Head of Business Development at Npower and David Adams, Technical Director at Willmott Dixon.

To view the full programme or to book tickets to the Retrofit Summit, CLICK HERE.

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