Sunday, 14 December 2014

NIA sets out ambitious plans for 2015 to support its solid wall insulation members maximise business opportunities

At its Annual Conference attended by around 300 delegates on 4th December 2014, Neil Marshall the NIA's Chief Executive briefed members on the plans the Association had to stimulate the markets for external and internal wall insulation and position its members as the preferred companies to use with consumers and specifiers.
The NIA is the lead trade body for solid wall insulation representing manufacturers, system providers and installers of both external wall and internal wall insulation in the UK.
Neil Marshall said: "With solid wall insulation installations expected to be minimal under the Energy Company Obligation due to Government cuts earlier this year and the stop start nature of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund, we will be focusing greater attention on stimulating solid wall insulation activity in other market sectors including new build domestic, commercial and commercial refurbishment.   The theme of our conference was Building a Sustainable Future for our Industry and that is exactly what we intend to do.  As well as creating additional opportunities for members we will be clearly positioning and promoting NIA members as the preferred choice to carry out external and internal wall insulation work to householders and specifiers.  We will of course be continuing to work very closely with Governments in Westminster, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to shape the various Government and energy company funded solid wall insulation grants and schemes to maximum effect.’
Marshall set out a number of areas in which the NIA would be supporting its solid wall insulation members in 2015:
  • Providing information and advice on opportunities in different market sectors, funding available and how to access these.
  • Promoting the benefits of solid wall insulation and using NIA members to householders, funders and specifiers in the domestic, new build and commercial markets.  NIA has around 100,000 hits on its website looking for companies to carry out work.
  • Introducing a new quality and service charter for NIA members to clearly differentiate them from non members and provide competitive advantage when quoting or tendering for work.
  • Working in partnership with housing providers, builders, framework operators and other specifiers in encouraging them to request NIA membership to work on projects.

In conclusion Marshall said: "2014 has been a volatile and challenging year for solid wall insulation and solid wall insulation companies particularly with the changes to the Energy Company Obligation and feast and famine nature of the GDHIF.  As a trade association committed to delivering added value to its members, we are determined to support our members in accessing sustainable business opportunities going forward.  We would therefore urge external and internal wall insulation companies that are seeking a long term future to join the NIA to benefit from the support we will be providing and to help strengthen the weight of our voice and lobbying power."
Installer membership is available from £995 + VAT and manufacturer/system designer membership from £2,500 + VAT and we do not charge an application fee.
To apply for membership email or telephone 01525 383313  

Monday, 8 December 2014

Up to £4,000 towards the cost of Solid Wall Insulation now available through Government’s Green Deal Home Improvement Fund

The Government’s popular Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) is to reopen for applications at 9am on Wednesday 10th December 2014 in England and Wales and the National Insulation Association (NIA) is urging householders to contact its members to take advantage of the scheme to upgrade their property’s energy efficiency.

Under the GDHIF householders can apply for:

  • Up to £4,000 towards the cost of installing Solid Wall Insulation 
  • Up to £1,000 for installing two measures from an approved list including cavity wall insulation, floor insulation, roof insulation and central heating boilers and.
  • Up to £100 rebate towards the cost of a Green Deal Advice Report.

The scheme also entitles those who have bought a property in the 12 months before applying to qualify for an additional £500 if they carry out energy efficiency improvements.

Neil Marshall, Chief Executive of the NIA commented: “The NIA welcomes the return of the GDHIF and the Government’s continued commitment to helping households to reduce their fuel bills and increase the comfort of their homes. Under the new scheme, householders will need to obtain a quotation for the work to be undertaken in order to apply for a voucher. Therefore, we are urging householders to contact their local Green Deal accredited NIA Installer or Green Deal Provider members without delay to find out more about GDHIF and arrange a survey and quotation.”

Householders  can be safe in the knowledge that an NIA member will have signed up to a strict Code of Professional Practice, meaning peace of mind comes as standard.

To find a local Green Deal accredited NIA installer or Green Deal Provider member and details on the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund householders and landlords should visit the NIA website or call 08451 636363.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Leading organisations call on Government to act now to help prevent excess winter deaths

A group of leading organisations including charities, fuel poverty groups and industry is urging the Government to take immediate action by announcing additional ‘emergency’ funding for heating and Insulation measures in the Autumn Statement on 3rd December 2014 to help reduce the thousands of vulnerable people who will die of cold related illnesses this winter.

The Government’s long awaited new Fuel Poverty Strategy and Targets are still subject to parliamentary process and will, therefore, have no impact on this winter and time is rapidly running out to take action.

Age UK recently reported that one older person will die every seven minutes from cold weather this winter and that excess winter death rates and illness are highest among those in the coldest homes.  The report highlighted that nearly 1 million older people live in fuel poverty and cannot afford to heat their homes to a sufficient temperature in order to keep warm and well and called on the Government to upgrade the energy efficiency of these homes.   

However, the latest Energy Company Obligation Monthly Report published by DECC on 20th November showed that the support for vulnerable households through its flagship ECO Affordable Warmth Scheme which provides free heating and insulation has plummeted.  Less than 6,000 measures were installed in September 2014 compared to nearly 30,000 in September 2013. This trend is likely to continue throughout the Winter as Ofgem reported in August that the overall ECO Affordable Warmth Target to the end of March 2015 was virtually completed in June 2014. 

Derek Lickorish, Chair of the Government Fuel Poverty Advisory Group speaking on behalf of the group said: “Today we are calling on Government to make additional funding available through the Autumn Statement to provide free heating and insulation measures to thousands more fuel poor and vulnerable householders.

While energy bills have increased by 140% since 2005, incomes have risen less than 30% over the same period. The problem of fuel poverty is a very serious issue and life threatening for the elderly and for those in poor health. An estimated 18,200 excess winter deaths occurred in England and Wales in 2013/14. An estimated 30% of winter deaths in Europe are caused by cold housing[1]. By making just 1.5 million of the most inefficient fuel poor homes meet a decent standard of insulation with a modern heating system would save them over £200 million each year off their fuel bills and thereby increasing their spending power for food and other essentials.

Jenny Saunders, Chief Executive of National Energy Action said: “NEA has deep concerns over the lack of funding for heating and insulation improvements to help the most vulnerable families over the course of this winter. I urge the Chancellor to release some of the billions of pounds that have gone into the Treasury this year from taxes and levies imposed on energy consumers.”

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: "Thousands of older people face a daily battle to stay warm during winter, risking their health by keeping the heating low to avoid running up a bill they can't afford.  Increasing energy costs coupled with poorly insulated homes means the UK is fighting a losing battle against cold weather and it is very difficult for increasing numbers of people to properly protect themselves. 

"The only solution to this problem is an ambitious programme to bring all our housing up to a high energy efficiency standard. We realise a national infrastructure project of this scale would require major investment; but not only would it reduce illness and deaths among older people, it would also cut associated costs to the NHS, create jobs and growth and help future generations.

"No older person should worry that they could die from the cold in their own home. Fuel poverty is a national scandal which has claimed the lives of too many people - both old and young - for far too long and left many more suffering from preventable illness. We want a permanent solution and we believe it is within our grasp, if there is the necessary imagination and political will."

Philip Sellwood, Chief Executive, Energy Saving Trust, said: “This isn’t about short term hand-outs to get people out of trouble for one winter, fixing our leaky homes means putting an end to this most severe issue, full stop. We know that for many this is going to be a really tough winter so let’s help those in need, starting with those who need us most.”

Ed Matthew from the Energy Bill Revolution said: "Insulation of British homes have crashed this year. The solution is to make home energy efficiency the UK's infrastructure investment priority. This can help millions of families warm their homes and create jobs in every part of the UK. No other infrastructure investment can achieve so much for so many."

Dr Joanne Wade, Director of the Association for the Conservation of Energy, said: “It is totally unacceptable that over 2 million households in the UK today are unable to afford to keep warm in their own homes and many millions more are at risk due to poor quality housing, rising energy costs and uncertain incomes.  To solve the problem of fuel poverty, we need to invest in energy efficiency measures in more than half a million low-income homes every year for the next ten years. Clearly the current level of activity under ECO is nowhere near adequate: government must take immediate action to begin to remedy this.”

Neil Marshall, Chief Executive of the NIA commented: “Poorly insulated homes are a major contributor to fuel poverty and excess winter deaths and it is therefore vital that Government takes immediate action though additional funding to enable thousands more vulnerable households to receive help through home insulation this winter.  Our industry stands ready to deliver these extra measures.”

List of the organisations
Age UK
Association for the Conservation of Energy
Energy Bill Revolution
Energy Saving Trust
Fuel Poverty Advisory Group
National Energy Action
National Insulation Association

For more information or to arrange an interview contact Duncan Murray at the NIA press office on 01327 227 010 or email

Friday, 14 November 2014

NIA Announces Plans for a Special Open Day/Briefing Event for External Wall and Internal Wall Insulation Installers

The NIA is the lead trade body for solid wall insulation in the UK representing manufacturers, system certificate holders and installers of both external and internal wall insulation and is committed to helping its members maximise business opportunities and maintaining quality and standards in the industry.

Neil Marshall, Chief Executive of the NIA commented: "In response to the significant level of interest expressed by PAS 2030 external and internal wall insulation installers in NIA membership, we have decided to hold a special free to attend open day/briefing event in early 2015.

"The event will include briefings on the opportunities available to EWI and IWI installers in different market sectors together with the support that we can provide to members in maximising these.

"Further details of the event will be released shortly but if you are interested in attending please email us at to register your interest."

Monday, 27 October 2014

NIA and DECC join forces to find solutions to tackle fuel poverty in solid wall properties.

In an event organised by the National Insulation Association (NIA) and its member Hamilton (Building Contractors) Ltd, a team of officials from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), visited Bradford’s Holme Wood Estate in order to examine first-hand the challenges that face the occupants of some of the poorest housing stock in the UK and the Solid Wall Insulation solutions available to them.

“Fuel Poverty affects millions of households in the UK and the situation can occur in all areas and demographics of the country.” Said the CEO of the NIA, Neil Marshall.  “However, this can be particularly prevalent in poorly maintained housing and the types of private rented and owner occupied properties found in inner cities. The Holme Wood Estate in Bradford is an example of fuel poverty and poor insulation at its most extreme. But, as can be seen with this on-site examination of the problems, steps are being taken to meet the challenges and address the situation.”

Neil Marshall added: “There are over 1million fuel poor households living in solid wall properties in private sector housing that are currently unlikely to receive any help through the Energy Company Obligation and Green Deal Home Improvement Fund.  These households are not expected to be insulated under the ECO as they are not cost effective enough for energy companies and fuel poor households are not likely to be able to afford to make the financial contribution needed under the Green Deal.  This visit is all about working together to find alternative solutions.”

The fact finding tour of the Holme Wood Estate with members of DECCs Household Energy Efficiency and Fuel Poverty teams took place today. During the three hour visit the team went to the heart of the estate to see housing both before, during and after the installation of external wall insulation; whilst also assessing the differences between today’s systems and those of 25 years ago. The group also had the chance to talk with local community leaders and residents to discuss the issues they face on a day to day basis and how the installation of external wall insulation has made a huge difference to their lives.

Daniel Mackie, Business Development Director from Hamilton (Building Contractors) Ltd said: “Hamilton’s are delighted to be working with the NIA and DECC to help to create policies that can be introduced to tackle the growing problem of fuel poverty in solid walled homes in the private sector”. Daniel also added “For 20 years, we have been delivering the benefits of External Wall Insulation to homes such as these in Holme Wood, with the Socially owned properties being the first to benefit through schemes like decent homes. Now though, those left living in thermally in-efficient properties, are generally in the private sector and more needs to be done to support those most in need, those in fuel poverty. Hopefully days like today can play a part in shaping that support.”

Thursday, 23 October 2014

NIA calls on Vince Cable, Secretary of State at BIS to work with Ed Davey, Secretary of State at DECC to address delayed payments under the Energy Company Obligation(ECO)

Amidst growing reports from the energy efficiency supply chain of delayed payments for work carried out under the ECO, which are causing major cash flow issues, the NIA is calling on Vince Cable and Ed Davey to intervene and arrange an urgent high level summit, involving energy companies, the energy efficiency industry and Ofgem to address the matter.

Neil Marshall the CEO of the NIA said: “There appear to be some fundamental issues with the ECO measures approval and payment processes which are resulting in major delays in payments to installers for works they have undertaken.  It is essential that the Government now intervenes and works with the energy companies, energy efficiency industry and Ofgem to address these issues.” 

He went on to say: “A new construction supply chain payment charter was introduced earlier in the year and consideration now needs to be given to introducing this or something similar to the ECO.”

Monday, 20 October 2014

The Chief Executive of the National Insulation Association urges the public to take heed and think insulation first during Big Energy Saving Week

Neil Marshall, NIA Chief Executive said:  “20-24 October is Big Energy Saving Week and will see numerous helpful facts given about saving costs on fuels bills. But we must stress that above all else, fitting adequate insulation first needs to be the priority. Doing so will enable householders to make major savings on their fuel bills year after year without even having to think about it.”

The amounts that can be saved on fuel bills are substantial:
  • Solid Wall Insulation will  save up to £460 per annum
  • Cavity Wall Insulation will save up to £250 per annum
  • The correct depth of Loft Insulation can save £250 per annum
  • Draught Proofing will provide  a yearly saving  of up to  £50
Marshall went on to voice his concerns over the millions of households that are yet to be properly insulated: “It is staggering that despite years of campaigning, and rising energy bills over 7 million solid walls and 5 million cavity walls still need insulating. There are also 7 million lofts that have inadequate insulation and are in need of topping up!”

The NIA is therefore urging householders to contact an NIA member to find out if their home requires insulation and to arrange a quotation.  Householders can be safe in the knowledge that an NIA installer will have signed up to a strict Code of Professional Practice, meaning peace of mind comes as standard with an NIA member.

To find a local NIA member householders should visit the NIA website

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

NIA welcomes additional £100m for household energy efficiency through Green Deal Home Improvement Fund but calls for further action to insulate the UK housing stock

The National Insulation Association (NIA) has welcomed today’s announcement by Government that an additional £100m will be provided to help fund energy efficiency improvements through the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) but is urging all political parties to go much further and commit to making Energy Efficiency Retrofit an Infrastructure Priority.

Neil Marshall, Chief Executive at the National Insulation Association said: “Following the significant reduction in insulation activity under ECO after cuts were announced by Government in July and the closure of the initial GDHIF after just 6 weeks, we have been urging Government to inject additional funding into the GDHIF this winter to help hard pressed households reduce their energy bills and stay warm. We are therefore delighted that Government has listened and responded by announcing an additional £100m today.

“However, whilst this will provide much needed short term relief, we need to go beyond short term, stop start schemes and incentives and put in place a long term plan and funding mechanism if we are to insulate the UK housing stock in a timely manner. With over 7 million homes having inadequate Loft Insulation, over 5 million that require Cavity Wall Insulation and almost 8 million homes that need Solid Wall Insulation we need to significantly strengthen energy efficiency policies and programmes.

“To this end the NIA is calling on all political parties to recognise that home energy efficiency needs to be defined as a National Infrastructure Priority with public investment to support the most vulnerable households and to create the confidence for the industry to scale up investment over the long term.”

Sunday, 28 September 2014

NIA responds to the Conservatives’ plan to exempt new starter homes from ‘zero carbon’ regulations

The NIA has expressed its surprise and concern at reports that the Conservative party intends to remove the requirement for new homes for first time buyers under the age of 40 to meet the zero carbon standard that is supposed to apply to all new homes built from 2016.

Neil Marshall, Chief Executive of the NIA commented: “if this proposal goes ahead it will mean that these new homes will be less energy efficient resulting in the occupants facing much higher energy bills which is a major concern given rising energy prices.  In addition it would be a further blow for home energy efficiency where installation rates for existing homes have plummeted since 2013 under the Green Deal and ECO.  We would therefore urge a rethink.”

The UK Green Building Council has  also responded to this news  

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

NIA responds to Caroline Flint’s speech at Labour Party Conference

Following the speech today by Labour's shadow energy and climate change secretary, Caroline Flint, announcing its ambitious new energy efficiency strategy the National Insulation Association (NIA) has welcomed the proposals.

Neil Marshall, Chief Executive of the NIA commented: “We welcome the proposals to introduce a long term plan and targets for energy efficiency and to designate it as an infrastructure priority. This is something we have been campaigning hard for as it will provide the industry with much needed certainty and stability to allow for effective investment and business planning.  In addition, we are encouraged by the proposal to provide 1 million Interest Free Loans which has the potential to kick start the Green Deal market and the proposal to provide a comprehensive package of measures to all low income households which will future proof these properties against fuel poverty.

“Whilst we will want to consider the detail of the announcements further, we look forward to working with Caroline Flint and her team in formulating a detailed implementation plan following the publication of the Labour Party Green Paper. 

“However, we also believe that there is scope to go further, faster.  Additional funding would enable the 6 million low income households to be treated more quickly and this could be forthcoming from the National Infrastructure Fund.  In addition, we believe that the Interest Free Loans for Green Deal would benefit from being supplemented by additional long term demand drivers including council tax and stamp duty incentives.”

Marshall added: “There are over 7 million homes that have inadequate Loft Insulation, over 5 million that require Cavity Wall Insulation (CWI) and almost 8 million homes that need Solid Wall Insulation (SWI) and therefore these proposals to strengthen energy efficiency policies and programmes are welcomed.”

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

NIA welcomes Liberal Democrats' commitment to Energy Efficiency

Following the announcement of the 5 new laws for a greener Britain that will be included in the Liberal Democrat manifesto, Neil Marshall, Chief Executive of the National Insulation Association (NIA) commented: “We welcome and are encouraged by the proposals to introduce new regulations to address energy efficiency, including a new heating and energy efficiency bill and a national programme to raise energy efficiency standards for all British households.  This is very much in line with the recommendations from industry in its report ‘A housing stock fit for the future’ launched on 24th June 2014.”

He added: “We still have over 7 million homes that have inadequate Loft Insulation, over 5 million that require Cavity Wall Insulation (CWI) and almost 8 million homes that need Solid Wall Insulation (SWI). We therefore need to be strengthening our energy efficiency programmes and accelerating the pace of delivery.  We require a long term structured plan to achieve this and transform the nation’s housing stock and we look forward to working with all political parties in bringing this about.”

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Hard pressed households face a very tough winter as support to install energy efficiency measures dries up

Ofgem’s latest ECO Compliance Update published on Friday 15th August 2014  makes very worrying reading for householders intending to apply for a free or heavily subsidised boiler or home insulation through the ECO scheme this Winter.  The Update which contains details of the number of energy efficiency measures that have been installed by energy companies under ECO and progress made  towards the ECO targets showed that two of the targets have already been met, some 9 months ahead of the schemes end date meaning that in theory no more measures now need to be carried out.

The current ECO runs from January 2013 to end March 2015 and the Ofgem ECO Update reported that at the end of June 2014,  based on the number of measures notified to Ofgem by energy companies the HHCRO target which provides free boilers and home insulation to vulnerable and fuel poor households was 97% complete.  The CERO target which provides free or subsidised solid wall, cavity wall and loft insulation was 55% complete against the original CERO target however, when the 33% cut in the original CERO target which was announced by Government on 22nd July 14 and the carryover of excess carbon savings of around 15% from the previous scheme are factored in, then the overall CERO target has already been exceeded.

This comes on top of the recent closure of the Governments Green Deal Home Improvement Fund and means that hard pressed households are now likely to find it very difficult to obtain the support they were expecting and needing to install heating and insulation measures this winter to heat their homes and reduce their fuel bills.

What can be done to improve the situation?

ECO – in its response to the consultation The Future of the Energy Company Obligation published on 22nd July 2014, DECC acknowledged that the changes to the current ECO were likely to result in greater cost savings for energy companies than were originally expected and that they would expect energy companies to ensure that consumers benefitted from these extra cost savings in a concrete way.  Subsequently, the Association for the Conservation of Energy has reported that the additional cost saving could be as much as £249m in the current financial year.

Therefore, we would urge Government and the energy companies to agree that these excess savings should be invested in the provision of additional energy efficiency measures this Winter through more ECO activity and/or by directing the funding to the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund to enable it to reopen.

GDHIF – the GDHIF scheme closed unexpectedly on 24th July following a huge surge in uptake which saw around £70m of vouchers applied for in just a few days.  Since the scheme closure, there have been numerous reports of speculative selling and phantom vouchers with suggestions that a  large proportion of the vouchers applied for will not be redeemed in practice.   It is therefore vital that Government verifies all voucher applications and identifies the number of households that are unlikely to proceed with the works and redeem the vouchers as a matter of urgency.  This will identify how much of the £120m that has been applied for is unlikely to be spent and enable the scheme to be reopened as soon as possible.

In addition, we would urge Government to seriously consider injecting additional funds into the GDHIF at this point in time to help hard pressed households during what is expected to be a very difficult Winter.         

Friday, 25 July 2014

NIA Response to GDHIF scheme closure

The announcement of the immediate closure for new applications to the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund  by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is as much of a surprise to the National Insulation Association (NIA) and its members as it will be to householders across England and Wales. We are concerned that many householders who have paid for a Green Deal assessment in order to qualify, but not yet registered, may now lose out. 

The NIA is calling on the department to investigate how the remaining budget of around £60 million was allocated so quickly in just two days. We are also currently in discussion with DECC regarding voucher redemption rates and whether they will consider to re-launch the scheme should funds become available.

People interested in improving the energy efficiency of their homes can receive updates about any possible future schemes by emailing or call the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Time for a Joined Up Approach and Plan for the Energy Efficiency Retrofit of the UK Housing Stock

The raft of progress reports, statements, consultation responses and scheme changes that have taken place in isolation from one another over the last couple of weeks is surely further evidence that a fresh approach for the Energy Efficiency Retrofit  of the UK housing stock is urgently needed!

Continuing with the current approach of separate and disparate approaches and short term schemes will not get the job done.  It will result in confusion, peaks and troughs of activity and is subject to party politics.

If we are to get the job done its time for a fresh approach, it’s time for Energy Efficiency Retrofit to be reclassified as a  UK Infrastructure Priority with £3 - 4 billion a year in capital investment to fund a significant programme of energy efficiency to transform the UKs ageing  housing stock.

On Tuesday 24th June a new coalition of 20 leading environmental groups , charities, membership organisations and trade associations came together to launch a major new campaign ‘A housing stock fit for the future – making home energy efficiency a national infrastructure priority.  The campaign has attracted allot of attention and support but for an ambitious plan of this nature  to come to fruition will require cross party support and a commitment to this new approach – but if we get it right the rewards are tremendous.

Over the coming months the coalition will be engaging with all political parties to seek their support for EE Retrofit becoming a national infrastructure priority with the aim of ensuring that it is included in all party manifestos for the forthcoming General Election – let’s hope they listen!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

NIA calls on Energy Companies to reinvest excessive Green Tax cuts in additional home insulation.

Following  today’s publication by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) of its response to ‘The Future of the Energy CompanyObligation’ Consultation the National Insulation Association (NIA) is calling for the excess cost savings identified by DECC to be invested in providing additional insulation measures for struggling households.

Neil Marshall CEO of the NIA commented: “DECC has acknowledged in its response that their proposed changes to ECO are expected to deliver greater cost savings to the energy companies in aggregate than originally expected and they have invited the energy companies to publicly set out how they propose to ensure that householders benefit from these additional cost savings.  The NIA is urging energy companies to invest these extra savings into additional insulation measures which can provide householders with significant and long term, sustainable savings on their energy bills.”

Marshall added: “In its recent annual progress report the Committee on Climate Change called on Government to increase the ambition of the Energy Company Obligation to 2017 to achieve its carbon targets but DECC is not proposing to do this.   Therefore, additional insulation activity as highlighted above would help in this regards.”

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Will Government Act on Advice from the Committee on Climate Change?

On Tuesday 15th July the Committee on Climate Change published its latest annual report on progress towards the carbon budgets and actions needed to meet these.  The report highlights that strong progress has been made in some areas such as fuel efficiency of new cars and investment in wind generation but that at the current rate of progress future carbon budgets will not be met – the current policies may only reduce emissions by 21-23% between 2013 and 2025 compared to the required 31% reduction.

Why is this? 

The CCC says that one of the main reasons for this is that progress with insulating residential homes has plummeted since the new policies – Green Deal and ECO were introduced in 2013.  According to the CCC whilst good progress had been made with home insulation up to 2012, as a result of the major fall off in installations since 2013 all of the main insulation measures are now well behind the cumulative indicators set by the CCC to achieve the carbon budgets, Cavity Wall Insulation (650k installations below the indicator), Solid Wall Insulation (330k installations below the indicator) and Loft Insulation (45% below the indicator).  

What needs to happen?

One of the key recommendations in the report and advice from the CCC to Government is that given the potential to go further with insulation and the benefits this would bring in terms of cost effective emissions reduction and energy affordability the Government should increase the ambition of the Energy Company Obligation to 2017.

Will Government act on this advice?

We will find out very soon when the decisions on the ECO Consultation are published.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Energy Efficiency Industry needs to collaborate more effectively in order to deliver integrated solutions to householders

Over the past couple of years there has been lots of talk about one stop shops and whole house solutions in relation to the energy efficiency retrofit of the UK housing stock.  However, the evidence would suggest that this is not currently being effectively delivered or taken up by consumers despite the Green Deal.

Whilst there are a number of reasons for this including cost and disruption, an area that has not been sufficiently considered or discussed is the delivery of a package of measures in a co-ordinated way through a range of different installers of different measures.  Whilst there are numerous installers, including NIA members that are able to deliver a package of measures such  as heating, insulation and solar panels in their own right there are also numerous installers that provide single measure solutions only such as boilers, glazing and insulation. which makes integration more difficult. An example of this arose recently when a Green Deal Heating Installer of boilers informed me that they would not arrange for insulation measures to be installed alongside a boiler under GDHIF as they don’t do insulation.

If we are to deliver multiple measures effectively it is essential that we address the issue of single measure installers and find a way to help them to facilitate the delivery of a package of measures through collaboration with other installers able to deliver different measures.

At the NIA we are already working to facilitate interaction by providing a facility through our installer post code locator for heating, glazing and solar companies for example to find local insulation installers in their area who they can work with in delivering a package to the householder.  However, the approach to co-ordination and interaction between installers of individual technologies/measures now needs to be developed into a more structured and national approach involving co-operation between a range of representative industry bodies.

Therefore, to help facilitate this, I am arranging a special workshop to which representatives from key trade bodies covering the spectrum of measures involved in EE retrofit will be invited to debate the issue and put forward proposals and recommendations.

Further details to follow.

Friday, 11 April 2014

NIA members receive support in maximising business opportunities

The National Insulation Association (NIA) is a leading trade body in the Insulation Industry representing manufacturers, system providers and installers of cavity wall insulation, solid wall insulation, including external, internal and hybrid systems, loft/roof insulation and draught proofing. 

There are still millions of un-insulated properties in the UK and the NIA is committed to growing the market for insulation and supporting its members in maximising business opportunities.

The NIA regularly seeks the views of its members on the support they require, so that it can ensure it is providing the right support and services and delivering maximum value.  This has resulted in a number of recent initiatives:

  • Establishment of a new Market and Business Development Group within the association, which is focusing on identifying opportunities for insulation companies in both existing and new market sectors, plus helping members to access these.
  • Through its Solid Wall Insulation Technical and Training Group developing a new quality assurance framework for the installation of solid wall insulation by NIA members, which will help position them as the preferred choice to undertake works.
  • Introduced a network of Local Forums and Forum meetings providing the opportunity to update members face to face on key developments, obtain feedback and enable members to effectively network with other companies in their local area.
  • National promotion to consumers and consumer groups of the Governments new Green Deal Cash-back scheme for insulation measures and of NIA members to carry out the work. This includes a dedicated link on its website to the NIA’s installer postcode locator. 

The NIA is extremely proactive and supports its members in a number of important ways:

  • Represents their views and carries out lobbying activities on their behalf with Government and other key external stakeholder groups, including energy suppliers.
  • The NIA meets regularly with key Government officials in London, in the Scottish Government and in the Welsh Government to discuss schemes, programmes and policies.
  • Provides information and advice about insulation schemes and funding opportunities, Government policies and regulations.
  • Promotes the benefits of insulation and refers enquiries and leads to its members.
  • Promotes the use of NIA members as the preferred choice to carry out work to householders, businesses and key specifiers including local authorities, housing associations, framework agreement operator’s, builders and architects

We have seen a sharp increase in insulation companies joining the association in the last year to benefit from the support we can provide to help them maximise business opportunities.  Membership of the NIA is much more than simply obtaining a logo that companies can place on their marketing materials.  It’s about receiving good quality information, advice and support in accessing business opportunities and being regarded as the preferred choice by consumers and specifiers to carry out insulation works.

The NIA offers a number of membership opportunities. If you are interested in finding out more about membership please contact Bev Coombe, Membership and Communications Manager; on 01525 383313 or